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By Conor McPherson
Directed by Katherine Owens
A chilling urban ghost story
Sept. 22-Oct 20, 2007
Previews Sept. 19, 20, 21
Press night Sept. 22
1 hour and 15 minutes
** Regional Premiere
Photo credit: Susan Kandell
City' beams at Undermain
superb version of this otherworldly Irish saga."
acting as active expression or great acting as intense concentration.
They're both on the Undermain stage in 'Shining City.'"
- The Dallas Morning News review
'Shining City' continues tradition of ghostly plays
- The Dallas Morning News article and slideshow
compassionate, ingenious and absolutely gripping[McPherson
is] the finest dramatist of his generation." - Daily
Glen Arbery of Park Cities People
"It’s a long way from Shakespearean
blank verse, but in Conor McPherson’s Shining City at
Undermain... language itself becomes the primary focus.
It’s too bad this excellent play has only
this weekend left in its run. If you have one play to see
this month, make it this one.
Conor McPherson’s dialogue in Shining City makes David
Mamet’s look a little formal by contrast. Set in the
office of a former priest, now a therapist, the play is about
two actions crossing each other — the struggle of a
man grieving over his dead wife and his own sins, and the
former priest’s continuing crisis of faith. This production
is close to perfect, by far the best thing I’ve seen
at Undermain since Caryl Churchill’s A Number several
years ago, and easily the best drama in Dallas this year.
The Undermain’s space, always a little hard on people
with claustrophobia, works beautifully for a set in which
the therapist’s couch and chair facing the audience
downstage create an immediate intimacy.
Bruce DuBose and Anthony Ramirez star in Conor McPherson’s
Shining City at the Undermain.But it’s McPherson’s
language that’s stunning. Sometimes a character goes
through five or six seconds and 10 different starts just trying
to find the right way to get a sentence out, but it never
seems like a contrivance, and the actors under Katherine Owens’
direction are pitch perfect. In fact, Bruce DuBose as John,
the man grieving for his dead wife, has a long monologue in
the third scene that has you, on the one hand, completely
lost in what he says, and on the other hand, marveling at
the easy naturalness with which he gives this extremely difficult
dialogue life. DuBose hits every emotion perfectly. If there’s
better acting than this in Dallas, I haven’t seen it.
Anthony Ramirez as the priest-therapist (still a confessor,
but without the power to absolve) has much less to say, but
he gives his character a slightly creepy borderline identity.
This is a man unsure of his own standing in sexuality (there’s
one gay scene), spiritually hungry, full of guilt, cruel without
meaning to be.
Shannon Kearns-Simmons as his fiancée, the mother
of his child who supported him through his education as a
therapist after he left the priesthood, has a pure believability.
Launching the season Sept. 22-Oct.20, 2007 will be the Southwest
premiere of Shining City, the Tony-award nominee by Conor McPherson.
Originally produced at the Gate in Dublin and Royal Court Theater
in London to critical acclaim, Shining City is set in Dublin, where
a guilt-ridden man reaches out to a therapist after seeing the ghost
of his recently deceased wife. The therapist, a former priest, wrestles
with his own demons. Shining City will be directed by Katherine
Owens. The cast is Bruce DuBose, Anthony Ramirez, Shannon Kearns-Simmons,
and Brandon Weinbrenner.
THE PLAY WILL BE PERFORMED
SEPT 22 - Oct 20
OPENING NIGHT SEP 22, 2007
PREVIEWS SEPT 19, 20, 21
3200 Main St. Dallas, TX 75226
(between Hall and Exposition in Deep Ellum; free attended parking
at Trunk and Main)
This production is made possible,
in part, by Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Dallas-Office
of Cultural Affairs, TACA, and individual supporters. Bruce
DuBose & Shannon Kearns-Simmons appear courtesy of Actors