PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: Outside Mullingar — The Boy Next Farm

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24 Jan 2014

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Dearbhlia Molloy, who plays Rosemary's ma, struck a surprisingly glamorous figure off-stage. "That's the best wig in the world. It's Tom Watson!"

She was in Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt in England and played Broadway twice: As Gabriel Byrne's wife in the last Touch of the Poet and as one of the three Tony-nominated sisters in Dancing at Lughnasa.

"I hope this one is a great success. I like this character I'm playing here. I like that she's not sentimental, that she doesn't give a shiver about anything — except she does care about her daughter."

Rounding out the four-member cast is the always-reliable Peter Maloney as the stubborn, cranky Tony Reilly. It's hard to imagine another actor in the role, but one was, and Maloney replaced him, delivering one of his best performances ever.

MTC's executive producer Barry Grove admitted he wept over one of Maloney's scenes and was still welling up trying to talk about it. "It's a play that dares to stand for the heart and for big emotions," he said. "The chemistry between the two leads — and, ultimately, the chemistry among all four of them — is very strong."

"It's Shanley at his best," seconded MTC's other half, Lynne Meadow, "a deceptively simple tale, but in it he examines such a range of human emotions. It's irresistible. It has sentiment, not sentimentality, and it has simplicity but with depth and wisdom."

Guilty as charged, Shanley felt this was among his most emotional writing. "My heart was in it. It's a very naked play. There's nothing ironic about it. I'm not removing myself in any way. It's all just right. You do or you don't, as an audience member."


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