Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quick Hit Theater Review: Molly Sweeney -- Long Wharf

 Jonathan Hogan, Simone Kirby and Ciarán O'Reilly. Photo T. Charles Erickson
Molly Sweeney
By Brian Friel
Directed by Charlotte Moore
The Irish Repertory Theatre Production
at Long Wharf Theatre

Summary:
Molly Sweeney (Simone Kirby) has been blind since she was a baby, but her husband, Frank (Ciaran O'Reilly), takes her on his latest cause du jour and convinces Mr. Rice (Jonathan Hogan) to consider her for surgery that could restore her sight. Molly, who is quite content living in the world seen through her other senses agrees to please Frank. Rice think he may have been handed an opportunity to redeem the career and reputation he lost when he suffered a breakdown. Each has a motive for the surgery, but is gaining sight really the best thing for Molly, now more than 40 years old?

Highlights:
Very good performances. Kirby makes her character's sightless world very vivid to us. O'Reilly infuses the more serious script with some humor and Hogan is a perfect foil. Particularly nice is James Morgan's set, split into three areas backdropped by windows where each of the characters stays, not really interacting with the others, as they tell their versions of the story.

Lowlights:
The soliloquies get a bit tedious.

Other information:
The production runs on Long Wharf's Stage II, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven,  through Oct. 16. For tickets: www.longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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