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REVIEW: Outside Mullingar

By Gary Wien


(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- There's an entire world outside Mullingar, but not to Anthony Reilly and Rosemary Muldoon. The two have known each other all of their lives, growing up on neighboring farms. As the play begins, we see their worlds becoming even smaller.

Outside Mullingar is a celebrated work by John Patrick Shanley (author of the Pulitzer Prize winning drama Doubt) that is coming up on its final two weekends at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. The play takes place in the Midlands of Ireland and is an excellent choice to open George Street's season. Originally run on Broadway in 2014, the play was nominated for the 2014 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play received a 2014 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Play as well.

Our story begins following the funeral of Rosemary's father. Both families are at a point in which their farms will be handed down to the next of kin. Rosemary is assured of hers, but Anthony's father is petrified of passing the farm on to his son. He's always known there was always something strange about his boy and worries that the family farm and its legacy will end with him. Instead, he's hatched out a plan to sell the farm to his brother's son in America.

"He was born to come home," the father explained to Rosemary's mother, pointing out that Anthony has always taken after his mother's side of the family — he's a Kelly not a true Reilly — and the Kelly's have quite a few quirks indeed.

Shanley uses the post-funeral gathering as an excellent source of humor and a great opening for the back-story behind the two families. Most importantly, we learn why a tiny patch of land between the road and the Reilly farm belongs to the Muldoon's… and why the Muldoon's will never sell.

Anthony's father knows that neither he nor Rosemary's mother has much time left. "When the husband passes, the wife follows," he says. "You'll be dead in half a year!"

Those words turn out to be prophetic and soon Anthony and Rosemary are all that's left.

Outside Mullingar is a play about generations, legacies, and hopes and dreams; it's an unusual love story about one person madly in love with another who doesn't believe is deserving of such feelings. There are twists and turns and rather absurd surprises, but most of all, it's a play that reminds us that time is precious and should never be wasted.

"It's a grand day for a walk and those days are few," noted Rosemary.

A wonderful cast and simply yet lush sets create this world for us; a bridge between reality and fantasy. John Bolger and Ellen McLaughlin are wonderful as Anthony and Rosemary, while David Schramm (Anthony's father) and Patricia Conolly (Rosemary's mother) are like characters inside a tiny Irish pub. They have far too much depth to be removed as soon as they are, but are given some of the best lines to work with.

Expertly directed by David Saint, Outside Mullingar is a tremendous comedy that's very heartwarming as well. It's a perfect lead-in to the holiday season. Now through November 2, 2014 at George Street Playhouse (9 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ) — catch it while you still can!


PHOTOS by T. Charles Erickson



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Event calendar
Saturday, Aug 24, 2019


MUSIC


Game Grumps Live @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

SOLID BRONZE @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

WHO'S BAD: THE ULTIMATE MICHAEL JACKSON EXPERIENCE @ Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

GLEN BURTNIK'S SUMMER OF LOVE CONCERT @ Sound Waves at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

NICKELBACK @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

O Sole Trio: Bravissimo Broadway @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Santana and The Doobie Brothers @ BB&T Pavilion, Camden - 7:00pm

Lola Montez & Special Guests @ Dingbatz, Clifton - 8:00pm

LEILA FOROUHAR & MANSOUR LIVE IN CONCERT @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:30pm

FREE CONCERT - THE GREEN PLANET at MAGGIE'S TIKI BAR & GRILL in JACKSON, NJ @ Maggie's Bar and Grill in Jackson / Lakewood, NJ!, Jackson - 5:30pm

TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 8:30pm

WOODSTOCK 2019 @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 1:00pm

Cirotti Trio @ Middle Valley Community Center, Long Valley - 7:30pm


Rufus Wainwright @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Sugar Mountain @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Memoirs of a Forgotten Man @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Frozen Jr. @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


DANCE


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