Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Plough and the Stars

Harry Watermeier  &
Victoria Rose Bonito
The Irish Heritage Theatre, located in the Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancey Place is presenting The Plough and the Stars through June 11 in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rebellion.  It is the third play in Sean O’Casey’s trilogy and also considered the most controversial.  Many of its themes are relevant today… a patriot feeling the call to serve his country by bearing arms, a loved one wanting him to choose to stay at home with her, feelings of bereavement over a loss leading to a loosening on one’s grip on sanity. The sets are simple yet effective as bars moving across the stage change the scene from a view inside a tenement building to a view outside a street corner.  Projections on a black curtain are shown as the stage is readied between acts. The Irish brogue is very strong and much of the dialogue is difficult to understand in the first two acts. There is a lot of arguing and very quick-paced shouting back and forth.  In the third and fourth acts, the pace seems to have slowed a bit and the dialogue is a lot more comprehensible. Michelle Pauls is an excellent Mrs. Gogan, Irish to the core and very set in her ways.  Mary Pat Walsh plays a stern neighbor, Bessie Burgess, always at odds, as she is a staunch supporter of the crown.  By the third act, with the men gone off  to war, the two women have made a peace of sorts.  Victoria Rose Bonito portrays Nora Clitheroe who desperately tries to keep her husband home. She is a self- centered character in the beginning of the play and this becomes even more apparent by the end. This is an interesting look at a view of war and the toll it takes on many. Although written about Ireland 100 years ago, countless truths can be found in it today. For production information and to purchase tickets, visit

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