Thursday, May 23, 2019
‘Outside Mullingar’ Leaves Audiences with Irish Accented Smile
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Aly Wepplo and David Janeski were two of three actors in “Outside Mullingar” who took part in Jon Kane’s play reading a little more than a year ago.
 
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

It takes on all the appearances of a gloomy hardscrabble Irish tale with biting wisecracks as dry as the parched earth outside.

But “Outside Mullingar” emerges from talk of lost loves, unhappy lives and other grim subjects dear to  the Irish heart to a gentle, rounded, tenderhearted finale that puts a smile in the hearts of the audience.

Sawtooth Productions in association with Laughing Stock Theater will present John Patrick Shanley’s romantic comedy “Outside Mullingar” tonight through Sunday--April 3 through 7--at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum.

Showtimes are 7 p.m. April 3 through 7 with a 1:30 p.m. matinee on April 7. Tickets are $20, $40 and $60, available at www.theargyros.org.

This is the first staged theater play in the Argyros, which opened a few months ago on Thanksgiving Weekend.

The play revolves around Anthony Muldoon and Rosemary Reilly—two lovelorn farmers who haven’t got a clue when it comes to love.

They come together to overcome a bitter land feud, amidst family rivalries and unrequited love. Anthony chides his son Tony for never being a true man of the earth, even though his son has dutifully kept up the farm all these years.

And, since his 42-year-old son has never married, Anthony suggests he just might sell the farm to his American nephew when he dies. But there’s a catch—namely, a parcel of land that runs through the  farm that could render the sale unlikely.

And this parcel happens to belong to the next-door neighbor’s daughter-–Rosemary Reilly, who has had a grudge against Anthony’s son ever since Tony knocked her down while they were children. This is no ordinary grudge but one that has had repercussions for 30 years.

“It’s a story about community and family, which are stories that move a lot of us,” said Aly Wepplo, who plays Rosemary Reilly. “These are farmers, people who have worked hard every day of their lives. And this is a celebration of people who love the land and people who have maintained things in the family for years.”

The play contains dark humor but it’s humor that eventually turns softhearted as the audience is reminded that it’s never too late to take a chance on love.

In fact, many of those who saw the play reading a little more than a year ago at The Spot walked away commenting that it was one of the most enjoyable play readings they’d seen.

“Outside Mullingar” has been called Shanley’s finest work since “Doubt,” a play about a nun who suspects a priest of wrong doing, which won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony for Best Play. Shanley also won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for “Moonstruck,” a romantic film starring Nicolas Cage and Cher.

This particular production of “Outside Mullingar” stars Andrew Alburger as the patriarch of the Muldoon family and Claudia McCain as the recently widowed matriarch of the neighboring Reillys. Aly Wepplo and David Janeski play the two grown children, joining the others in perfecting their Irish dialect under voice coach Ann Price.

It is produced by Jon Kane and directed by Paul Lazar, who founded New York’s Big Dance Theater.

“He’s a fabulous performance artist who brought fun and a new look at a beloved script,” said Wepplo. “One of the things we did was talk about finding ways to tell family members things we wouldn’t normally tell them.”

“He brought some fun new physical insights to my character,” added Janeski. “For instance, he asked to think about the energy my character internalized until I couldn’t help but let it come to the surface. And, while you may think you know what’s to come in this play, you’ll find yourself surprised.”

 

 

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