Sunday, January 07, 2007


This 1981 play, set in fictional Ballybeg as was Dancing at Lughnasa, is one of Brian Friel's best, but this static production (co-produced by the McCarter Theatre with the Manhattan Theatre Club) isn't nearly as dynamic as it needs to be to engage us emotionally. I left appreciating Friel's detailed, flavorful language (and responding to the message about the destructiveness of imperialism) more as a piece of literature than as a piece of stagework. It's early in previews; there is the distinct possibility that the ensemble will catch fire by the time the show opens, but at this point the production doesn't have a lot of heat.

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