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Small theatre presents intimately Irish drama

To Arts Ed: There is a small logo for the Lyric Stage that I put in the prod shop by the arts page that can be used with this review. It probably will take up another three column-inches or so. There is also a publicity picture if you want to use it, but its not great. -SIC

Playboy of the Western World by John Millington Synge, adapted by Stanley Sultan, directed by Polly Hogan, at The Lyric Stage, 54 Charles St. Boston, through March 17. Wednesdays-Sundays (Wed-Fri 8 pm, Sat mat at 5 pm, Sat eve at 8:30 pm and Sun mat at 3 pm). Tickets $7.50-$10.00. $1 off with student ID for Wed., Thurs., Sat. and Sun. matinee. Call 742-8703 for more information.

If you only go to see one Irish play this semester, I know just the one: Playboy of the Western World. It is a love story about an energetic and raunchy young Irish wench -- Margaret Flaherty, played by Kate Maguire, and a handsome young man named Christy Mahon, played by Al Mohrmann.

The play is set in a small village in County Mayo, Ireland. The young Christy comes to town and captivates the woman and her friends with stories of his bloody deeds. The humor and charm of their sudden romance soon enchants the audience.

Eda Rabinovitz gave a rousing performance as the despicable Widow Quinn who comes around and tries to save the day when Christy Mahon discovers, much to his mortification, that the jig is up.

The flavor of the setting surrounds the audience from the beginning with traditional Gaelic music playing before the opening of the show.

The set is simple. There are few props, and no attempt at any flashy effects. The seats surround the stage on three sides, posing a difficult problem in staging the play so that nobody spends the night looking at the back of the characters' heads.

The director, Polly Hogan, obviously has the experience of many performances at The Lyric Stage behind her; the constraints of the stage posed no impediment to her shining evocation of Irish atmosphere and plot.

Playboy of the Western World is an entertaining and funny tale -- and the atmosphere alone was worth the trip. With outstanding performances by all, you will be enchanted from the moment you enter the room until the moment you leave.

The Lyric Stage is small, seating about 125 people, on the second floor of a small building on Charles St. in Boston. It is dedicated to performing classics of the stage. Later this season they are going to perform French without Tears, by Terrance Rattigan, and Harvey, by Mary Chase, the story of an elegantly dressed, 6-foot high rabbit whom only Uncle Elwood can see.

Scott Chase->