Set on Midsummer’s Eve (June 23), Micheál mac Liammóir’s The Mountains Look Different is about a woman’s attempt to reinvent herself through marriage following years of working as a prostitute in London. First performed at the Gate Theater in Dublin, the noted Irish actor’s play was applauded for its openness by critics and audiences in 1948, but it was also disdained by the God-fearing and narrow-minded Catholic community. However bold it was then, by today’s standards director Aidan Redmond’s revival offers audiences little more than a diorama, a 3-D representation of a bygone era.
Disco is one of those words that the senses respond to instantly with several very particular references: late 1960s or early ’70s New York City spring to mind. However, the world of Disco Pigs is a far cry from that, and disco assumptions are turned on their head. Enda Walsh’s play strips the term bare of its bright-lights, big-city ballroom connotations, throws a hefty dose of punk into the trunk, then turns off-road onto the aimless side of life. But it does so with deep, dark humor, wide-eyed invention and heaps of passion.
Ardor, the fourth play by playwright and director Matthew Gasda, reflects an impressive literary talent. Gasda has given the actors in his new ensemble drama material that is raw, fresh, honest, poetic, deep, daring and, clearly, a joy to perform. Their conversations are at once innocent and knowing, as well as both painfully cutting and a pleasure to hear.