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  The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at Northlight Theatre

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore

Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Blvd Skokie

"Wee Thomas" the cat has been killed. What's worse, he was the beloved pet of Padraic - a ruthless Irish hitman who considers the IRA "too soft". As the folks back home fight over who has to break the bad news, the violence escalates—recalling Shakespeare and Quentin Tarantino at their bloody best. A few murders, several dismemberments and a smattering of cow mutilations later, all is finally right with the world again. Or is it? In this wickedly funny black comedy McDonagh considers the implications of outrageous reactions to small misunderstandings.

Listen to "Talk Theatre In Chicago" for an interview with Northlight Theatre Artistic Director BJ Jones about The Lieutenant Of Inishmore Listen

Thru - Jun 7, 2009

Price: $25-$55

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 847-673-6300

Running Time: 1hr 30mins; no intermission

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  The Lieutenant Of Inishmore Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...One would have genuine worries with this play about offending the audience. But if you’re gonna do it—and thinking persons will see it’s a savvy, worthy brilliantly structured piece—you may as well swing that dead cat as hard as you can."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...I find it infantile and numbingly tedious. I also find it intriguing that the people who are shocked and outraged by the use of torture in the inquisition of real-life terrorists have no problem watching 90 unabated minutes of blood, guts and mutilation -- which is what they are treated to in McDonagh's play "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," now at Northlight Theatre. In fact, they seem to find it a big, fat, blackly comic laughfest."
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Hedy Weiss

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Does the playwright go soaring hundreds of miles over the top as he covers the stage with ankle-deep carnage and hacksaw-wielding protagonists? Yes. Does he occasionally rely more on violence than on substance? Yes. Does he manipulate the audience through sheer, jaw-dropping shocks? Yes. Did we enjoy every last blood-soaked second of this rollicking splatter-fest? Oh, yes. Directed by BJ Jones, every ounce of so-twisted-it's-mutilated humor and seeping viscera shines through. The result is a gruesome delight."

Catey Sullivan

Chicago Free Press - Recommended

"...In this black–and very red–comedy (Northlight uses a dozen blood bags, not to mention horrific prosthetic props each night), so-called Irish freedom fighters, male and female, are exposed as sadistic simpletons. These pathetic “patriots” are utterly unable to resist the slightest self-defeating impulse or to examine the consequences beyond the next murder or mutilation. Happily or not (depending on your resistance to upchucking in the theater), BJ Jones’ local premiere is as gut-wrenching and stomach-churning as misanthropic material can hope for."
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Lawrence Bommer

Copley News Service - Highly Recommended

"...In spite of its gross-out violence, or maybe because of it, “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” really is funny in the excellent local premiere at the Northlight Theatre. It’s a lesser play in the McDonagh canon, not on a dramatic par with “The Lonesome West,” “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” and “The Pillowman.” Those plays had their share of violence, both physical and psychological, but they were made of stronger stuff dramatically."

Dan Zeff

Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended

"...Martin McDonagh’s script is a piece of blackest genius in the grand Irish satirical tradition of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. In a world where Quentin Tarantino movies and South Park are mainstream entertainment, The Lieutenant of Inishmore still packs scathing social commentary in every squib. It made me laugh, gag, and think — all at the same time. When juxtaposed with such chunks of ultraviolence, the flat-out gratuitousness of everything that gets satirized here becomes plain."
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J. Scott Hill

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...McDonagh’s canny script doles out the gore in exponential increments—Nick Sandys’s violence direction and Steve Tolin’s astoundingly precise spatter-craft are enough to induce hyperventilation—while subtly (and hilariously) making a case for the utter absurdity of violence that begets violence. (It’s not lost on us that McDonagh’s characters have more sympathy for pets—be they cats, dogs or an imagined goldfish—than their fellow humans.) Chamberlain, regularly underutilized at the Goodman and Steppenwolf, finally scores in a breakout leading role. Director Jones deserves praise both for his exacting direction and for programming what might be a risky sell in Skokie."
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Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The ensemble work here, together with the fabulous special effects, are mesmerizing. BJ Jones wisely eliminated the blackouts and made the show a swiftly paced one act that escalated the dramatic tension making for heightened emotional impact. Jones’ production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore one of the finest, most moving theatrical events of the season. Young folks need to witness this compelling production to see how effective live stage shows can be. This is thrilling, gutsy and shocking theatre. Don’t miss it."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...There is plenty to rave about and plenty of fun packed into this wild ride of a strange and savage story. This is a gory good time to be sure as there are more squibs (miniature explosive device used for bloody special effects) and dismembered corpses on stage in this show then can normally be seen in an entire season or two of plays produced by every theater company in the city."

Venus Zarris

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...Jones and his team do a very precise job in finding the inherent comedy in the violence. The amount of bloodshed in the play is ridiculous, and the characters’ reasoning behind it is bizarre. With the help of Tolin and fight choreographer Nick Sandys, Jones arranges scenes that show the folly of extremist violence. And by committing to the dangerous reality the script presents, the cast can be comical while making the audience believe that they have real guns with real bullets."

Scotty Zacher

  Related Articles

Look what the cat dragged in
From Chicago Sun Times
Hedy Weiss

  The Lieutenant Of Inishmore Photo Gallery

   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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