Dublin Up

For Stones in His Pockets, two actors take on 15 roles in a pleasant Irish fling


Now here's a trend no theater lover loves: plays without intermissions. In recent months, more and more shows have turned up hereabouts that omit the crucial seventh-inning stretch. Playwright Neil LaBute seems especially averse to the long tradition of a short break mid-drama. His play The Mercy Seat, produced at Kitchen Dog, went on for nearly two hours without a respite. Quad C's otherwise lovely production of LaBute's The Shape of Thingsmight not have suffered its second-hour spell of audience restlessness had there been some much-needed breathing space. Edward Albee's Marriage Play at the Bath House and The Wild Party at Theatre Three held their crowds captive until curtain call.

Besides providing time for a beverage and a pit stop, an intermission can also be an escape hatch. The other night I found myself trapped for 96 long minutes in a former bowling alley watching a production of Italian feminist monologues, the first of which went on for 45 minutes, followed by two more before the break. Before the show I'd asked the house manager the running time. Two and a half hours, I'd been told. In house manager lingo that means three, which meant that after intermission there would be at least 90 more minutes of this bone-numbing stuff to endure. Buh-bye.

Playwrights and directors, please remember, the people out there in the dark want to be entertained, not made to feel like hostages.

Stones in His Pockets' James Crawford and Michael Turner play 15 eccentric characters, from doddering geezers to stammering youngsters.
Andy Hanson
Stones in His Pockets' James Crawford and Michael Turner play 15 eccentric characters, from doddering geezers to stammering youngsters.

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continues through June 5 at Theatre Three, 214-871-3300.

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