Showing posts with label Martin McDonagh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Martin McDonagh. Show all posts

Monday, October 22, 2018

REVIEW: Martin McDonagh's THE LONESOME WEST Via AstonRep Theatre Company

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

AstonRep Theatre Company Presents
By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Company Member Dana Anderson
October 18 – November 18, 2018 
at The Raven Theatre

 (left to right) Dylan Todd, Phoebe Moore and Robert Tobin in AstonRep Theatre Company’s production of THE LONESOME WEST. 
All Photos by Emily Schwartz.

by bonnie kenaz-mara

I've enjoyed the darkly visceral works of playwright, Martin McDonagh for years, and relished the chance to see The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Tony nominee, Best Play 1998) last March at Northlight Theatre. I've never caught THE LONESOME WEST on stage, so I was eager to see AstonRep Theatre Company's season opener at The Raven Theatre. This high energy production did not disappoint.

(left to right) Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd 

Robert Tobin* (Coleman) and Dylan Todd (Valene) are exhausting and scary as hell as volatile Irish brothers with an intense sibling rivalry, sociopathic tendencies and dark secrets. This fast paced drama is full of adrenaline pumping stage combat, combined with complex characters, unfortunate incidents, and thought provoking drama. 

(left to right) Mark Tacderas and Phoebe Moore

 (left to right) Robert Tobin, Phoebe Moore and Mark Tacderas

Mark Tacderas (Father Welsh) and Phoebe Moore (Girleen) round out the cast with strong portrayals of the disillusioned priest and delightfully sarcastic, lovestruck teen. There are enough plot twists and surprises to keep the audience engrossed. This voyeuristic glimpse into the interconnections of small town life and the violently passionate bond of brothers is intensely compelling, and like a horrific car accident, it's nearly impossible to look away, no matter how much you might long to. 

Martin McDonagh's grasp of human psychology, conflict, culture,  family, desperation, religion and intertwined relationships is uncanny. It's exhilarating to see his complicated characters come to life as well as self destruct on stage. Don't miss this. Highly recommended.  

(left to right) Mark Tacderas and Dylan Todd 

Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd Photo by Emily Schwartz

AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy THE LONESOME WEST, directed by Company Member Dana Anderson*, playing October 18 – November 18, 2018 at The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 828-9129. 

THE LONESOME WEST features AstonRep Company Member Robert Tobin* with Phoebe Moore, Mark Tacderas and Dylan Todd.

Valene and Coleman, two brothers living alone in their father's house after his recent death, find it impossible to exist without the most massive and violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Father Welsh, the local young priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabblings spiral into vicious and bloody carnage.

(left to right) Dylan Todd and Robert Tobin 

(left to right) Robert Tobin, Dylan Todd and Mark Tacderas

The production team for THE LONESOME WEST includes: Jeremiah Barr* (scenic and props design, technical director), Cody Von Ruden (costume design), Samantha Barr* (lighting design, production manager), Melanie Thompson (sound design), Claire Yearman (fight choreographer), Carrie Hardin (dialect coach) and Lara Caprini* (stage manager).

*Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Phoebe Moore (Girleen), Mark Tacderas (Father Welsh), Robert Tobin* (Coleman) and Dylan Todd (Valene).
Understudy:  Timothy Sullivan (Coleman)

Location: The Raven Theatre (West Stage), 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 18 at 8 pm and Friday, October 19 at 8 pm
Regular run: Sunday, October 21 – Sunday, November 18, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3:30 pm
Tickets: Previews: $12; Regular run: $25. Student/seniors $15. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 828-9129.

About the Artists

Martin McDonagh’s (Playwright) plays include: The Pillowman (Tony nominee, Best Play 2005; Olivier Award Winner 2004), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Olivier Award Winner, Best Comedy 2003), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Tony nominee, Best Play 1998), The Lonesome West (Tony nominee, Best Play 1999), A Skull in Connemara, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Banshees of Inisheer, among others. Other works include Barney Nenagh’s Shotgun Circus, Suicide on Sixth Street, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, Six Shooter (Academy Award, Best Short 2006), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (multiple Academy Award nominations, two wins for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor).

Dana Anderson (Director) has worked as an AstonRep company member on The Laramie Project (actor), Four by Tenn (director), 1984 (asst. director), Eleemosynary (dramaturg) and The Black Slot (actor). She recently directed Belle of Austin (Rhinofest) and Little Miss (Davenport’s). She is the Associate Artistic Director of the prison program Shakespeare Corrected, where she directed Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has also worked with Theo Ubique, Kokandy, Towle Theatre, Greatworks Theatre, Shawnee Summer Theatre, The New Colony and Quest Theatre Ensemble. As an educator, she is a teaching artist with Mudlark Theater Company.

About AstonRep Theatre Company:

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced 21 full-length productions and nine annual Writers’ Series. AstonRep Theatre Company is an ensemble of artists committed to creating exciting, intimate theatrical experiences that go beyond the front door to challenge audiences and spark discussion where the show is not the end of the experience: it is just the beginning.
(left to right) Robert Tobin and Dylan Todd

Thursday, March 1, 2018

OPENING: The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Northlight Theatre 3/15/18- 4/22/18

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Northlight Theatre continues its 2017-18 season with
The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Written by Martin McDonagh
Directed by BJ Jones
Featuring Kate Fry, Nathan Hosner, Casey Morris and Wendy Robie

March 15 – April 22, 2018

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2017-18 season with The Beauty Queen of Leenane, written by Martin McDonagh and directed by BJ Jones.  The Beauty Queen of Leenane runs March 15 – April 22, 2018 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie.

The play premiered Off-Broadway in February 1998, presented by the Atlantic Theatre Company. It transferred to Broadway in April 1998 and received six Tony Award nominations, winning four: Best Supporting Actor (Tom Murphy); Best Actress (Marie Mullen); Best Supporting Actress (Anna Manahan); and Best Director (Garry Hynes). Hynes was the first female recipient of a Tony Award for directing a play.

This Tony Award-winning dark comedy is set in the provincial Irish town of Leenane. Forty-year-old spinster Maureen Folan lives with her manipulative aging mother Mag, stuck in a caretaking relationship that has them both seething with resentment. When a romantic encounter finally sparks Maureen’s hopes for an escape from her dreary existence, Mag’s interference sets in motion a chain of events that is as tragically funny as it is terrifying. 

“I find Martin McDonagh’s sense of humor adolescent and amusing; I love his ability to shock for shock's sake, and I relate to his quirky characters built on a landscape of loneliness and isolation. From the fable like period piece of The Cripple of Inishmaan, through the Leenane trilogy with a side trip to the gory Lieutenant of Inishmore, he has remained true to his own stylistic voice,” comments BJ Jones. “My attraction to The Beauty Queen of Leenane is McDonagh's style: theatrical fireworks that light up a dark landscape and reveal even darker crevices, much like the Burren region of western Ireland. So many of his works echo Synge, Beckett, and in more modern synchronicity Tarantino and even Letts. With the gifted artists Kate Fry and Wendy Robie, I take on this overdue date with McDonagh's seminal masterpiece.”

The cast of The Beauty Queen of Leenane includes Kate Fry (Maureen Folan), Nathan Hosner (Pato Dooley), Casey Morris (Ray Dooley) and Wendy Robie (Mag Folan).

The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Design), JR Lederle (Lighting Design) and Andre Pluess (Sound Design). The stage manager is Michelle Medvin.

Northlight’s production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane is supported in part by Freddi Greenberg and Dan Pinkert, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, and Tom Stringer Design Partners.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is the first play in playwright Martin McDonagh’s trilogy set in Leenane, a small village on the west coast of Ireland where he spent his holidays as a child. The other two parts of the trilogy are A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West. A second trilogy is set across the Aran Islands, off the coast of County Galway, and includes The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Banshees of Inisheer, which was never published.

Martin McDonagh (Playwright) is an award-winning writer/director. His latest film is Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. Plays: The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara, The Lonesome West, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Pillowman, A Behanding in Spokane, Hangmen. As writer/director: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri; Seven Psychopaths; In Bruges; Six Shooter (short film).

Playwright, screenwriter, and director Martin McDonagh is among the most acclaimed living playwrights in Ireland. He won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for Six Shooter and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for In Bruges. His most recent film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Original Screenplay. The film also was nominated for nine BAFTA Awards (winning five including Best Screenplay, Film and Outstanding British Film of the Year) and six Golden Globe Awards (winning four including Best Screenplay).

BJ Jones (Director) is in his 20th season as Artistic Director of Northlight where he commissioned and directed the world premieres of Faceless, Charm, White Guy on the Bus,  Stella & Lou, The Outgoing Tide (Jeff Nomination – Best Director), Better Late, and Rounding Third. Notably he has directed productions of Outside Mullingar, Grey Gardens, The Price (Jeff Nomination- Best Director), A Skull in Connemara, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. As a producer he has guided the world premieres of Shining Lives, The Last Five Years, The Gamester, and Studs Terkel’s ‘The Good War’. From Second City to Shakespeare, BJ has directed Pitmen Painters (Jeff Nomination – Best Director, TimeLine), A Number (Next), 100 Saints You Should Know (Steppenwolf), and The Dresser (Body Politic). Regional: Glengarry Glen Ross (Suzie Bass Nominee – Best Director, Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre), Enchanted April (Asolo Theatre), and productions at Cherry Lane Theatre NY, Galway Arts Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, and Utah Shakespeare Festival. As a performer, Mr. Jones is a two-time Joseph Jefferson Award winner and has appeared at Northlight, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court, and other theatres throughout Chicago. Film/TV credits include The Fugitive, Body Double, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Early Edition, Cupid, and Turks, among others.

Kate Fry (Maureen Folan) returns to Northlight, where she performed in Outside Mullingar and The Miser.  Most recently, she played Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst at Court Theatre, where she has appeared in many productions over the years.  Other Chicago credits include work with Writers’ Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and Victory Gardens Theatre.  She has also worked with Center Theatre Group in LA, McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Lincoln Center.  She is the recipient of three Joseph Jefferson awards, the local Sarah Siddons award, an After Dark award, and Chicago Magazine’s actress of the year.  Kate is married to actor/teacher Timothy Edward Kane, with whom she has two sons.

Nathan Hosner (Pato Dooley) returns to Northlight after appearing in Discord. Chicago credits include productions with Lookingglass, Court, Writers, Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman, Paramount, About Face, First Folio, Shaw Chicago and Shakespeare Project of Chicago. Other credits include Peter and the Starcatcher (first national tour) and productions with American Players Theatre, New Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, BoarsHead Theater, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Door Shakespeare. Nathan is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London.

Casey Morris (Ray Dooley) is making his Northlight Theatre debut! Last fall, you may have seen Casey in the role of Mike Danver in Janine Naber's Welcome to Jesus at American Theater Company. Other Chicago theatre credits include: Ah, Wilderness! (Goodman Theatre, u/s), What of the Night? (Stage Left & Cor Theatre), Hand to God (Victory Gardens, u/s), The Grapes of Wrath (The Gift Theatre), EOM (Ignition Festival '16, Victory Gardens), Voyage (Cock and Bull), The Revel (The House Theatre of Chicago, u/s), Post Apocalypto (Sketchbook ’15, Collaboraction), In a Little World of Our Own (Irish Theatre of Chicago, u/s), and Charlotte's Web (Emerald City Theatre). Casey received his MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Wendy Robie (Mag Folan) returns to Chicago after an extended visit to the West Coast to appear in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime) reprising her role as “Nadine Hurley.”

Wendy Robie (Mag Folan) is back in Chicago after an extended visit to the West Coast to appear in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime) reprising her role as “Nadine Hurley.” In Chicago, Robie has appeared at Drury Lane, Chicago Dramatists, Northlight, Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman Theatre, Remy Bumppo, and Next Theatre. As a Company Member for Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Ontario, Robie played Regan in Brian Bedford’s King Lear in 2007.  Most recently in Seattle, Robie played Volumnia in the critically acclaimed all-female production of Coriolanus: Fight Like A Bitch. Film: Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs, Vampire In Brooklyn, The Attic Expeditions, Lost Voyage, Devil In The Flesh, The Dentist II, Were The World Mine. TV: Star Trek DS9, Any Day Now, Party Of Five, Quantum Leap, Dark Skies, C-16, Baywatch, Prophet Of Evil, A Place For Annie, and two seasons as Nadine in the original Twin Peaks.

The Box Office is located at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, in Skokie. Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm, and Saturdays 12:00pm-5:00pm. On performance days, the box office hours are extended through showtime. The Box Office is closed on Sundays, except on performance days when it is open two hours prior to showtime.

Curtain times are: Tuesdays: 7:30pm (March 20 only); Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except April 4) and 7:30pm; Thursdays: 7:30pm; Fridays: 8:00pm; Saturdays: 2:30pm (except March 17) and 8:00pm; and Sundays: 2:30pm (except April 1) and 7:00pm (March 18 and April 8 only).

The Beauty Queen of Leenane received its world premiere presented by the Druid Theatre Company in Galway it February 1996. It then toured Ireland and transferred to London's West End, where it opened at the Royal Court Theatre. It was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Play.

Northlight is continuing its popular special event series in conjunction with each production. All events are free.

Backstage with BJ: The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Friday, March 9 at noon
at Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL
Backstage with BJ is a mid-day discussion with Artistic Director BJ Jones, featuring special guest artists, actors, directors and designers, offering behind-the-scenes insight into each production while it is still in rehearsal. Backstage with BJ for The Beauty Queen of Leenane will last approximately one hour. The event is free but reservations are required. Visit to reserve your spot.

Martin McDonagh in Theatre and Film
Tuesday April 3 at 7pm 
at the Irish American Heritage Center
4626 N Knox Ave, Chicago, IL 
Explore the worlds created by the brilliant mind of Martin McDonagh - from his critically acclaimed film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri to the Tony Award-winning The Beauty Queen of Leenane, we will discuss what makes McDonagh one of the most celebrated writers of his time.

Inside Look: The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Tuesday, April 17 at 2:00pm
Skokie Public Library
5215 Oakton St, Skokie, IL
Explore the social and historical context of The Beauty Queen of Leenane through a discussion and Q&A session with artists related to the production.

Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community. 

Now in its 43rd season, the organization has mounted over 200 productions, including nearly 40 world premieres. Northlight has earned 202 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 34 Awards. As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality. 

Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from Allstate Insurance; the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Robert & Isabelle Bass Foundation; BMO Harris Bank; Henrietta Lange Burk Fund; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; ComEd, An Exelon Company; The Davee Foundation; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Evanston Community Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Melvoin Award for Playwriting; Modestus Bauer Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Niles Township; The Offield Family Foundation; The Pauls Foundation; Room & Board; Sanborn Family Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Sullivan Family Foundation; and Tom Stringer Design Partners.

Dates: Previews: March 15 – March 22, 2018

Regular run: March 24 – April 22, 2018

Tuesdays: 7:30pm (March 20 only)
Wednesdays: 1:00pm (except April 4) and 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm 
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 2:30pm (except March 17) and 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm (except April 1) and 7:00pm (March 18 and April 8 only)

Northlight Theatre is located at the North Shore
Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd,

Previews: $30-$57
Regular run: $30-$81
Student tickets are $15, any performance 
(subject to availability)

Box Office:
The Box Office is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie.

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