Silver Spring Stage presents THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE by Martin McDonagh, directed and produced by Seth Ghitelman. Set in the Irish countryside, a lonely woman in her forties has her first and possibly last chance at love until her manipulative mother sets in motion a train of events that leads to a terrifying conclusion.THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE will perform weekends May 18 to June 9.
Silver Spring Stage is located in the Woodmoor Shopping Center, lower level (next to the CVS) at Colesville Road and University Boulevard. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $18 for seniors and students. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM, and Sundays May 27 and June 3 at 2:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased at www.ssstage.org. Information is also available by calling (301) 593-6036.
What do you get if you combine JM Synge, the patriarch of Irish drama, with Quentin Tarantino, the bad boy of American film? You get Martin McDonagh. Throughout his works, McDonagh has exposed the Irish saga to reveal the brooding feuds and violence that underscore its affable humor of life surrounded by seas in Ireland. THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE is the most recognized of the Leenane trilogy (A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West), opening originally in 1996 in Galway and transferring to London and New York in 1998, where it won four Tony Awards. Born and lives in London, his plays are set in the coastal villages of his Irish parents' heritage. In THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, he perfected his trademark of exaggerated, near-grotestque characters precariously perched between humor and viciousness."I suppose I walk that line between comedy and cruelty," admits McDonagh, "because I think one illuminates the other. And, yeah, I tend to push things as far as I can because I think you can see things more clearly through exaggeration than through reality. It's like a John Woo or a Tarantino scene, where the characters are doing awful things and, simultaneously, talking about everyday things in a really humorous way. There is a humour in there that is straight-ahead funny and uncomfortable. It makes you laugh and think." At the premiere of THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANEin Galway, a woman told the director "I have a funny feeling that I shouldn't be laughing so hard." In other words, a perfect Martin McDonagh moment.
Set in the Irish village of Leenane, Connemara in the early 1990s, the play takes place in the shabby kitchen of Maureen Folan (Brenda Ryan) and her mother Mag (Jane Bruns). Maureen's sisters have escaped into marriage, but Maureen, with a history of mental illness, is trapped in a seriously dysfunctional relationship with her mother. Pato Dooley (Ted Schneider), a lonely middle-aged construction worker unhappy working in England, and his younger brother Ray (Dylan Newstub), who tries to be a "bad boy", visit the Folans. There's a glimmer of romance sparked between Maureen and Pato, which triggers the manipulations of Mag. Laced with that characteristic Irish sense of humor, the story of THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE unfolds with secrets, deceptions and betrayals to keep audiences guessing. The ending is as memorable as any in theater.
The production team includes Kristin Skolnik (Stage Manager), Robert Thompson (Set Design), Jamie Coupar (Sound Design), Bob Scott (Light Design), Crystal Ferguson (Costume Design), and Sonya Okin (Props Design and Set Dressing).
Silver Spring Stage concludes its 2011-2012 season with the compelling drama STOP KISS (June 29-July 21). The Stage announces its 2012-2013 season: 2012 One Act Festival, FARRAGUT NORTH by Beau Willimon, Red Herring by Michael Hollinger, THE REAL THING by Tom Stoppard, EXPECTING ISABEL by Lisa Loomer, FROST/NIXON by Peter Morgan, THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED by Douglas Carter Beane, THESE SHINING LIVES by Melanie Marnich and A CHRISTMAS CAROL for the holidays.