Outside Mullingar Review - A Modern Irish Fable

Green is the color of the day as four people ponder life in Killucan, Ireland. Set in a quaint farming area, OUTSIDE MULLINGAR explores love in its many forms in the poetic and rollicking manner so familiar to the citizens of shamrock fame. Is a Reilly truly better than a Kelly? Can a feud begun in childhood carry on for almost 50 years? Where do important ideas begin? Do “cracked” people ever get sick? Is love worth waiting for?

Jarlath Conroy and Robin Pearson Rose - Photo by Michael Lamont

Best known for “Doubt” and “Moonstruck,” playwright John Patrick Shanley has crafted a gentle tale drawn from his Irish background and spiked with fond - and sometimes very funny - memories of relatives still living on the Emerald Isle. Recently, Shanley remarked that he never wanted to write about the Irish - but when he went to Ireland in 1993 to take his elderly father home, he saw Ireland as the lost poetic world that he never knew he missed.

Jarlath Conroy, Robin Pearson Rose, Dan Donohue - Photo by Michael Lamont

Elder Tony Reilly (Jarlath Conroy) is having second thoughts about leaving the 120-year-old family farm to his son Anthony (Dan Donohue), even though Anthony has been running the show single-handedly for years, because his son is unmarried and doesn’t “love the land.” Tony is thinking of selling the farm - but runs into a problem because he has no direct way to get from the road to his house since neighbors own a small strip of land between the two points “so we have to go through two gates to get to the front door.” Enter the neighboring farmers - who also happen to own the controversial strip - recently widowed Aoife Muldoon (Robin Pearson Rose) and her spinster daughter Rosemary (Jessica Collins). The proverbial fur will soon fly!

Jarlath Conroy and Don Donohue - Photo by Michael Lamont

Packed with laughs and sly comments on life, OUTSIDE MULLINGAR is graced with four talented actors, each with a firm grasp on his character and a real knack for the Irish brogue. Cleverly helmed by director Randall Arney, the production rapidly leaves Los Angeles and travels effortlessly to Ireland. Excellent and memorable staging is provided by Anthony T. Fanning, who almost miraculously transforms the small stage into one farmhouse - and then another - and even fields going on forever - while shuffling sets on the darkened stage. Costumes (David Kay Mickelsen) and lighting (Daniel Ionazzi) enhance the show; and congratulations are in order to the entire production crew for their creative work.

Don Donohue and Jessica Collins - Photo by Michael Lamont

 

OUTSIDE MULLINGAR runs Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024. Tickets run from $43 to $76 ($43 to $82 on Saturday). For reservations, call 310-208-5454 or go only at www.geffenplayhouse.com.

 

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