Sunday, January 19, 2014

Outside Mullingar

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 story: boy meets girl, boy knocks girl down, girl gets a crush on boy, boy is rejected by a different girl and becomes withdrawn, girl turns into woman and retains crush for decades, boy-now-man is oblivious. And meanwhile their parents get old and die.

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)

No comments: