Inside John Patrick Shanley's 105-minute Outside Mullingar is a potentially wonderful 85-minute play. As it stands (or stood at the preview I saw), it meanders too much and takes too long to get to the romance promised by the label "romantic comedy." Much of the meandering is charming, but some wanders too far afield or is too repetitious. Outside Mullingar presents too slight a story to justify 1:45, and although I love talky plays, sometimes I wished they would just can it.
The four-person cast provides three excellent performances (Brian F. O'Byrne, Peter Maloney, and Dearbhla Molloy) and one okay one (Debra Messing).
There are lovely moments in this play, particularly when boy-man and girl-woman
finally have a long scene together. I hope Shanley trims down the excess and
leaves the sweet core.
(free ticket, 2nd row mezz)