Review: McDonough's 'Lonesome West' is riotous entertainment
Note: Illness has forced cancellation of the final performances of "Lonesome West," a production of the Rep, Point Park University's professional theater company.
The production had been scheduled to play through Sunday in the studio theater of the Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland.
Those holding tickets should contact the Playhouse box office at 412-392-8000 to arrange a refund or tickets to a future Rep show.
The Irish town of Leenane is a great place to visit. But it's a bit of a challenge to live there.
People have a way of dying there, in ways that are as horrifying as they are humorous.
"The Lonesome West," playwright Martin McDonagh's third play in the Leenane Trilogy, revisits the town in which he set "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" and "A Skull in Connemara" with yet another tale of people who are as impulsive, violent and alarmingly funny.
It's being performed through Feb. 27 by The Rep, Point Park University's professional theater company in the intimate studio-theater space.
McDonagh focuses "The Lonesome West" on Valene and Coleman Connor, a pair of warring middle-aged brothers who share a cottage recently vacated by their father, who died from a gunshot wound that may not have been accidental.
The brothers, like most of the residents, are the despair of the town's ineffectual priest, Father Welsh, who is at a loss at how to deal with the brothers' ongoing war with each other or the teenaged Girleen's open peddling of poteen -- Ireland's bootleg liquor.
Not McDonagh's best play, its interest is more in the well-drawn characters and their behavior than in forward motion or sub-textual meaning.
Nevertheless, McDonagh's outrageous, foul-mouthed, argumentative, physically assertive characters and the abundant humor they generate provide an entertaining 90-minute visit that's almost certainly not sponsored by the greater Galway tourist board.
Philip Winters and David Cabot bring specific, contrasting personalities to Coleman and Valene. Winters' Coleman uses his character's passivity and deception as ample defenses against Cabot's prissy, assertive advances. Their mutual antagonisms erupt periodically and destructively.
Director Kim Martin and fight director Randy Kovitz keep the action urgent, insistent and physical. But Martin creates some nice introspective, quiet moments in a second-act interchange between Dave Droxler's Father Welsh and Maggie Ryan's assertive but vulnerable Girleen.
Lindsey B. Mayer creates a workable, realistic Irish cottage that provides lots of room for grappling, fisticuffs and destruction that's supported by FX artist Steve Tolin's creative efforts. Dialogue coach Sheila McKenna worked with the cast to create accents that sound authentic while being almost always understandable.
'The Lonesome West'
Produced by: The REP
When: Through Feb. 27 with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays
Where: Point Park University's Pittsburgh Playhouse, Oakland
Details: 412-392-8000 or website
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.