November 21-27, 2002
Stones in His Pockets
This Irish show by first-time playwright Marie Jones was a hit there, here and everywhere. Stones in His Pockets is making its Philly debut with Bronson Pinchot and Tim Ruddy playing all the many characters in this "tragicomic tour de force": two unemployed villagers, a suicidal teenager, a decrepit leftover of the cast of Man of Aran, a sexy American film star, her handlers, the director, his ditzy assistant, etc. They need to shift with lightning speed between character and character, between accent and accent, gesture and gesture, all of which struck me, when I saw it in New York with its original Irish cast, as great fun but finally too much of only a pretty good thing.
The play's events begin when an American film company comes to shoot a "filum" on location in an Irish village, and most of the townsfolk are hired as extras to play "peasants." There is the usual Irish self-loathing (we're shiftless drunks) and the usual Irish self-pity (we're victims of an oppressive past, an Americanized present, and The Land Has Failed), the usual Irish blarney (didja hear...) and the usual theatrical sendup of Hollywood (live performance is better than movies). Despite the skeleton of a melodramatic plot, it's really two and a half hours of showing off. But it's likely to be some very funny and very impressive showing off.
Thu., Nov. 21-Sun., Dec. 1, $32-$50, Zellerbach Theatre at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., 215-898-3900.