Had the great good fortune to catch the Schoolhouse Theater’s revival of last season’s “Dancing at Lughnasa” yesterday in a deservedly packed theater in Croton Falls.
Moments that will stay with me for a while:
+ The sweetness in Michael McMonagle’s voice as he plays the 7-year-old Michael.
+ Watching as Tessa Zugmeyer’s character, Agnes, comes up with the idea that the Mundy women should go to the harvest festival. Zugmeyer does so much in the long silences, but you never ever see her drop her focus. The wheels are always turning in a remarkable performance.
+ Heather Girardi’s face smeared with floury pagan warpaint as her character, Maggie, whoops and shouts and dances for all she’s worth.
+ Quinn Cassavale’s luminous Christina, turning jealous when Agnes draws her lover’s attention and then, quick as a wink, softening and letting the rage melt away.
+ Billy Lyons’ “Anything Goes” song and dance as Gerry.
+ John Tyrell mesmerizing as Father Jack, spinning a yarn of an African religious festival turning secular.
+ Lauren Currie Lewis’ unforgettable Rose, who smiles with her eyes and breaks your heart.
+ And Cheryl Orsini’s responsible and stern school marm, Kate, who’ll only let her guard down as the stage lights dim in the show’s final seconds. (Don’t miss it. It’s riveting and miraculous.)
Afterwards, I took part in a talk-back with director Pamela Moller Kareman and her outstanding cast, who seem all the sharper for hAaving been able to ruminate with Brian Friel’s characters for a while.
Here’s my “Dancing at Lughnasa” review from last March, which still applies. See it, see it, see it. You won’t be sorry.