Conor McPherson's spooky, Olivier-Award winner The Weir received a warm welcome in Berkeley, California where the intimate drama closes at the Aurora Theatre Dec. 30 after sell-outs prompted an 11 performance extension. The Weir began Nov. 10 with an opening Nov. 16. Aurora Theatre's managing director Tom Ross (last season's hit, The Homecoming) directs.
McPherson's play of small-town pub regulars who spend a night telling ghostly stories to impress their new neighbor, a quiet young Dublin woman, opened on Broadway April 1, 1999. Although the play received no Tony nominations, The Weir was the last survivor of 1999's new plays, with a run of 276 performances and 11 previews. In London, the drama garnered the UK’s 1998 Olivier Award for Best New Play. McPherson's other works include St. Nicholas, This Lime Tree Bower and Dublin Carol.
Emily Ackerman, most recently of the Magic Theatre's Kissing the Witch, plays Valerie, the Dublin woman with a haunting story of her own. Julian Lopez-Morillas, Charles Shaw Robinson, W. Francis Walters and Allen McKelvey are the four rural men telling her their best tales.
Tickets are $30-$26. The Berkeley City Club is located at 2315 Durant Avenue. For tickets, call (510) 843-4822. The Aurora Theatre Company is on the web at http://auroratheatre.org.
— By Christine Ehren