Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thee-ah-tuh review:
"The Lieutenant of Inishmore"

Edward Clapp scored us tickets to go see Martin McDonagh's "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" at the Lyceum Theatre for my birthday, and last night was the night. McDonagh is being lauded all across town for the big splash he made with 2005's "Pillowman" -- and Edward certainly dug that work, which made going to "Inishmore" a cinch. All I ever saw of McDonagh was his Oscar-winning short film "Six Shooter," a dark comedic piece punctuated by sadness and bursts of violence (and these are, of course, his hallmarks).

This thing starts off awfully twee and esoteric, with a pair of broadly-accented Irishmen lamenting the death of a dearly beloved cat -- not because of any affinity towards the pet, but because of the potential ire of the owner. Surely enough, the hellbent owner Padraig (pronounced "Poy-rick" -- who the fuck figured that'd be how you say that name?) shows up and plies his IRA-like knowledge of torture and ultraviolence in laying waste to anyone associated with the feline's demise.

For a goddamn stage play, it gets a SHITLOAD more gruesome than that last sentence can even suggest.

Considering the weird set-up and the sheer profusion of mayhem -- which you have to see to believe -- McDonagh must be a feckin' genius, because he manages to wrap this fucker up with a little tight bow with a pitch-perfect O. Henry ending. This is one of those shows you have to see to believe -- a true marvel of stagecraft.

Seriously, get out there. Do it.