A Skull in Connemara the middle play of Martin McDonagh's celebrated "Leenane Trilogy," gets an airing Jan. 30-March 10 at Skokie IL's Northlight Theatre. Artistic director BJ Jones stages the macabre comedy, which enjoyed an Off-Broadway run courtesy of the Roundabout Theatre last year.
McDonagh's “Leenane trilogy” comprises The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996), Skull and The Lonesome West (1999), all of which have played in New York, as has his The Cripple of Inishmaan, which may get a Broadway production next season.
A Skull in Connemara premiered in Galway, Ireland in 1997 before moving to London’s Royal Court Theatre. Its American premiere took place at Seattle’s A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) with direction by Gordon Edelstein.
McDonagh’s play, which officially opens Feb. 6, tells of a man hired to disinter old bones in a cemetery — including those of his wife who died a violent and mysterious death. Complicating matters are a nosy fool, a weird policeman and a loudmouth neighbor, all typical of the awful-but fascinating characters who populate McDonagh's universe.
The Chicago mounting of Skull stars Si Osborne, Mary Seibel, Mike Thornton and John Gawlick. Designing the show are Michelle Habeck (lighting), Rachel Healy (costumes), Todd Rosenthal (set) and Andre Pluess & Ben Sussman (sound). For tickets ($32-$45) and information on A Skull in Connemara at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL call (847) 673-6300.
Next at Northlight, artistic director BJ Jones will stage Willy Holzman's Hearts: The Forward Observer, March 20-April 28. William Dick, Linda Kimbrough, William J. Norris and John Sterchi star. The season ends with Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer winning classic, Talley's Folly, staged by Kate Buckley may 15-June 23.
—By David Lefkowitz and Murdoch McBride