Dancing at Lughnasa

by Brian Friel
directed by Leslee Richards

As its entry in the Second Southwest Irish Theatre Festival, The Adobe Theater presents the award-winning play Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel. First staged at the Abbey Theatre (the Irish National Theater) in 1990, it transferred to London in 1991 where it won the Olivier Award. The New York production won the 1992 Tony for Best Play and the Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Play.

Loosely based on the lives of Friel’s mother and aunts, the play centers around several weeks in the late summer of 1936 during the Celtic Harvest Festival of Lughnasa. The five Mundy sisters have welcomed home their brother Jack, who has served as a missionary in Uganda for 25 years. Director Leslee Richards (director of Rabbit Hole and Pride and Prejudice) says, “Dancing at Lughnasa is a story of love and courage. These women find joy and love in their lives every day – in spite of little opportunity for employment, marriage or education. And they teach those values and strength to their nephew and son, Michael, who tells their story with devotion.”

Lacey Bingham (seen recently in Candida) plays eldest sister, Kate, a teacher at the local school, and Heather Lovick-Tolley (Is Life Worth Living?, A Trip to Bountiful) is Maggie, the house-keeper and joker of the bunch. Bridget S. Dunne (just seen in Pack of Lies) is Agnes who is a special friend to the “simple” Rose played by Andrea Haskett. Jennifer Cary plays Christina, the mother of Michael (Paul Hunton) who dreams of a married life with the feckless Gerry Evans (Jeremy Gwin). Bill Lang brings the frail brother Jack to life.

Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel opens at The Adobe Theater on April 4 and plays through April 27, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets are only $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and students. Group rates and SelecTickets available. Reservations: 898-9222 (weekdays) or www.adobetheater.org (anytime).

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