Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tony Nominated Play Opens 2014 Season

The first show of our season here at George Street Playhouse is a play about love. But this particular theatrical romance isn’t your typical love story.

John Patrick Shanley, who received a Tony Award nomination this past season for Outside Mullingar, is writer of the Oscar-winning screenplay for the romantic comedy Moonstruck, as well as the multi award-winning (including the Pulitzer Prize) Doubt, presented on the George Street stage seven years ago.

Reminiscent of Moonstruck, Shanley has provided us with a love story with punches of laughter and a healthy dose of Irish farm life, grit and mysticism instead of hearts and flowers. Artistic Director David Saint, explains why he chose to start the season with this not- so-sentimental story. “I like to begin the season with something very ‘up,’ whether it’s a big comedy or a musical or a love story.”

In addition to his trademark comedic techniques utilizing the humor of everyday life, Shanley goes back to his personal ethnic roots and employs mystical elements of folklore to further the unique quality of this modern day romance.

Saint elaborates - “He delves into the land of the mystical like many Irish poets or Irish writers… It is the element of the supernatural that has been a part of Irish culture for centuries. I was just knocked out by the combination of the wit and the lyricism and the fairytale quality to it and the notion that there is always hope for love in someone’s life.”

The pervasive feeling of Celtic mysticism and humble whimsy touches audiences on a fundamental level where our childlike wonder still resides, even if buried deeply.

“Any great story, like a great fairytale, is universal to all cultures,” Saint asserts. The story is not limited to a particular culture or location or even time period, “…it takes place anywhere where the imagination is ripe enough for a writer to concoct a tale.”

When you really think about it, isn’t every love story actually a fairly tale? The fact that two compatible people out of the estimated seven billion in this great wide world could find each other and fall in love is really quite magical. Outside Mullingar teaches all of us that there is hope that love can, and, most assuredly, will happen. “Keep your heart open to love at any age.” This is what Saint feels is the fundamental theme of the play. It’s never too late to fall in love. It’s a beautiful lesson of hope and perseverance for the sake of joy.

Continues Saint, “I think this play [makes] people leave the theatre feeling great about life and that is a great way to start the season”

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