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Shadow of a Gunman
Review by Deborah Klugman, LA Weekly

Proletarian-turned-playwright Sean O’Casey’s 1923 tale of love and death still reverberates in its poignant depiction of ordinary folk under terrorist siege. O’Casey’s illusory felon, Donal (Jason Cole), is a Shelley-quoting apolitical poet sharing digs with his chatty, superstitious and equally war-wary friend, Seamus (Kurt Boesen), in a Dublin tenement. Perceived by gossipy neighbors as an IRA operative on the run, Donal attracts the interest of bold, naive, romance-minded Minnie (Maura Knowles). But before love blossoms, British soldiers raid the building in search of insurgents — precipitating tragedy. O’Casey knew and loved his people well, masterfully delineating their strengths and foibles with grandeur, affectionate humor and compassion. Director Tim O’Hare and a splendidly disciplined ensemble rise to the occasion, vanquishing the difficulties of dialect to capture both the play’s Irish flavor and humanity. Boesen’s alternately wise and fretful Seamus lays claim to the production’s most sterling and well-crafted performances and, on the night I attended, even the understudies commanded their roles.
 

Copyright 1998, LA Weekly
Reprinted by permission
Shadow of a Gunman at the Colony Theatre