Articles tagged with: Conor McPherson
Review: It turns out vampires are real. Who knew? Anyway, the veracity of vampires is the central proposition of Conor McPherson’s one-man play “St. Nicholas,” now meandering across the boards at Goodman Theatre. I suspect the greatest allure of this dubious enterprise, brought to Chicago by London’s Donmar Warehouse, is the presence of Brendan Coyle – yes, the same Mr. Bates of “Downton Abbey” – as the nameless monologist. ★★
Review: It’s a play about hauntings, Conor McPherson’s “The Weir,” a dark and sharply drawn comedy of the unconscious now enjoying an infectious – and, happily, extended — run by the Irish Theatre of Chicago. Ghosts, the ones within us, fill the rural pub where “The Weir” unfolds: Five characters quite recognizably and sufficiently stand in for the lot of frail, erring, rueful humanity. ★★★★
Review: For every line Brad Armacost speaks as a grief- and guilt-ridden widower consulting a therapist in Conor McPherson’s “Shining City,” but especially for the prodigious and emotionally wrenching monologue that occupies the center of this 90-minute drama, the production by Irish Theatre of Chicago is greatly to be recommended. For the rest, neither McPherson’s patch-up of a play nor this realization directed by Jeff Christian holds much charm. ★★★
Preview: When Michael Grant and a group of fellow Chicago actors formed Seanachai Theatre Company back in 1995, the name seemed inspired, exactly apt, a no-brainer. The word seanachai means story-teller in Irish Gaelic, and that’s what this troupe meant to do – stage the rich legacy of stories in the tradition of Irish theater. But after building its own legacy through two decades under the Seanachai banner, the company finally acknowledged that what had seemed obvious was anything but. Behold the renamed Irish Theatre of Chicago, which has its second birth Nov. 28 when the rechristened company makes its season debut with Conor McPherson’s “Shining City.”
17th in a series of season previews: The 2014-15 season at Steppenwolf Theatre is for drama buffs with a taste for adventure. Every play on the calendar is new to Chicago. One show is an American first, and also waiting in the wings is a world premiere. Steppenwolf opens with the Chicago unveiling of “The Night Alive” by Conor McPherson, as hot a playwright as you’ll find in the theater world today. If you haven’t seen “The Seafarer,” or if it isn’t at the top of your must-see list, raise your hand. Thought so.
Interview: In working out her transfixing performance in the harrowing pas de trois that is August Strindberg’s “The Dance of Death,” now on the boards at Writers Theatre, actress Shannon Cochran says she got an indirect boost from Irish playwright Conor McPherson, who created the new English-language adaptation at hand.
Review: If you liked Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” you’ll love the original: August Strindberg’s “The Dance of Death,” wherein a toxic, blood-sport marriage between a venomous old soldier and his hissing wife make the sniping between Albee’s George and Martha feel once more present in the room. Writers Theatre provides the well-polished dance floor for Strindberg’s caustic waltz. ★★★★★
Interview: Brad Armacost’s earthy, funny and deceptively nuanced portrait of the blind, drunken brother of a lost soul in Conor McPherson’s “The Seafarer” was shaped in part, he says, by a blessing and a curse. How Irish that both circumstances should spring from the same source. Armacost’s performance as the devoutly plastered Richard Harkin, in Seanachai Theatre’s brilliant go at “The Seafarer,” is his second pass at the play in recent Chicago seasons.
Review: It’s hard to imagine a sweeter greeting for the New Year than Seanachai Theatre’s announcement that it will extend its luminous production of Conor McPherson’s “The Seafarer” – originally scheduled to close Jan. 5 – for another four weeks. Lovely, lads, lovely. ★★★★★
Ninth in a series of season previews: As artistic director Michael Halberstam began putting together the 2013-14 season at Writers’ Theatre with associate artistic director Stuart Carden, one coincidence seemed too good to be true: Halberstam’s right-hand man had been the teacher, at Carnegie-Mellon University, of an eclectic group of seven buddies called the PigPen Theatre Co., who were the buzz of Greenwich Village for their folksy fable called “The Old Man and the Old Moon.” The charming off-Broadway saga now comes to Writers’.