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  The Beauty Queen Of Leenane at Northlight Theatre

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane

Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Blvd Skokie

This Tony Award-winning dark comedy is set in the provincial Irish town of Leenane. Forty-year-old spinster Maureen Folan lives with her manipulative ageing mother Mag, stuck in a caretaking relationship that has them both seething with resentment. When a romantic encounter finally sparks Maureen's hopes for an escape from her dreary existence, Mag's interference sets in motion a chain of events that is as tragically funny as it is terrifying.

Thru - Apr 22, 2018

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 1:00pm & 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 2:30pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm & 7:00pm

Price: $30-$81

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 847-673-6300

Running Time: 2hrs

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  The Beauty Queen Of Leenane Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Jones’ new production is in distinguished company then, but it has the bonus of the aptly named Fry, an actress who never plays the end of a show before she arrives. She’s a gentler, kinder Maureen, which makes Mag’s tyranny all the more powerful, since you see clearly the life this woman might have had, with a different mother. That said, Fry leaves this epic trail of clues as to her own mental instability: they are little ticks, really, but they culminate in a rightly mighty tock."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Director BJ Jones' production is solid and makes interesting choices about some lighter elements of the play, but rarely becomes as deeply menacing as it could be. Both Fry and Robie are terrific - believable, honest actors always - but on opening night the electricity between them didn't always sizzle. For example, there's a scene where Maureen notices Mag is acting oddly and can tell, by staring in her eyes, that she's holding back something big. The scene requires their entire history to be played at once, for us to feel Maureen's capacity to read her mother like a book. Key moments pass quickly, the familial ability to shred all efforts at camouflage coming off more as contrivance than scary reality."
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Steven Oxman

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...Ultimately, watching a play like "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" unfold is like waiting for the other shoe to drop. You may not relish what happens, but until it does, you're on the edge of your seat."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...But the story unfolds way too slowly. McDonagh's highly repetitive dialogue, punctuated by sudden moments of outrageous violence, only drags things out. This isn't necessarily director B.J. Jones's fault; I remember repeatedly glancing at my watch 20 years ago when the play was first produced in Chicago at Steppenwolf. And McDonagh's fondness for squashing all hope for his characters-and for life in general-guarantees you'll leave his play wanting less."
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Jack Helbig

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...BJ Jones, Northlight’s artistic director, directs the little cast with a fetching mix of high intensity and lyric naturalism. The pace is unhurried, the warring expansive and incisive. But indulgent as well is the awakening of authentic love in the palpable magnetism between Maureen and this decent man Pato. The real beauty of Fry’s performance lies in Maureen’s brief flowering as a woman in touch with herself, on the verge of realizing herself, on the precipice of final disappointment."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Counting the warning of abusive and language we highly recommend The Beauty Queen of Leenane. It's an entertaining dark comedy that makes you think about how much you love your family and how much they appreciate the love that they received."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...The situation at the heart of "Beauty Queen"-the feelings of entrapment, repressed anger and guilt that can embitter the relationship between adult children and their aging parents-is a reality for many people thrust into caregiver roles. To transform this everyday human tragedy into a contrived tale of monstrous horror, spiced with misogyny, shows a certain cynicism at work. No matter how strong the performances-and the two leads here are indeed formidable-one comes away from "Beauty Queen" depressed by the play's bone-deep ugliness."
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Hugh Iglarsh

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy is essentially a mother and daughter showdown that ultimately ends in tragedy. During the course of the play we witness much verbal and emotional abuse along with a transferral of power: a mother turns into the manipulative child, while the daughter becomes the all-controlling parent. By the final moments of the play we also see that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree, and both women are equally unhinged. BJ Jones’ violent, truthful production is for adult audiences. It’s brash and unflinching, prompting as many gasps of astonishment as peels of laughter. But it’s a play that features a magnificently talented cast in a production that won’t soon be forgotten. It’s definitely one of Northlight Theatre’s very best."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...“The Beauty Queen of Leenane” will be red meat for viewers who thrive on psychological and physical violence leavened with the distinctive flavor of Irish verbal comedy. Audiences uncomfortable with this kind of theater may squirm, especially when the action ratchets up to its shocking climaxes. The play wallows in mother-daughter bickering a little too much in the early scenes but the dramatic payoff is stunning. And any chance to see Kate Fry, especially in such a challenging role, should not be missed, ever."
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Dan Zeff

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...All of these elements are supported by Todd Rosenthal’s scenic design, which dingily immerses you in the hopeless setting Maureen finds herself in. J.R. Lederle’s shadowy lighting complements Rosenthal’s milieu while offering a subtle hint of menace as well. As early as the first scene, it’s clear that, even with some laughs along the way, this play will not end happily."
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Brent Eickhoff

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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