THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE
The New Phoenix on The Park
Directed by Joeseph Natale
Cast: Betsy Bittar, Mary Loftus, John Kruezer, Eric Rawski
I saw this play a month ago and here's a short review.
Betsy Bittar commands the stage with her voluptuous and frightening presence, and Mary Loftus is perfectly pathetic as a victim of elder abuse in The New Phoenix Theatre On The Park's production of Martin McDonaugh's black comedy, "The Beauty Queen Of Leenane", a play where Tennessee Williams meets Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes.
Bittar plays Maureen Folan, a 40 year old Irishwoman whose last chance at romance may be spoiled by her scheming and senile mother, (Loftus); senile in that she pours pails of urine down the kitchen sink and serves tea immediately afterwards.
Nasty stuff, this, and if it weren't for the cast delivering performances that made this vile Irish corner of the world believable, a striking inanity would prevail. Spinster fears her mother will ruin her last chance at marriage, so spinster torments and physically abuses the old girl. Stop, stop, you're killing me.
Loftus is fascinating as a woman secure with manipulative control yet fearful of the genuinely threatening world around her. She's physically apt as well, taking a believable spill to the floor in one scene.