Irish literature is a lot like Irish whiskey: tough going down, but ending with a slow, comforting warm. And then, all of a sudden, your insides are twisting and you feel like you want to puke. Class issues, socioeconomic hardships and frequently depressing weather wear heavy on Irish writers, poets and playwrights, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a fine example of the witty, comedic and ultimately bleak undertones that frequently materialize from the Emerald Isle. The play, set entirely in a dimly lit kitchen, peers into the life of Maureen Folan, a fortysomething single woman who still lives with her controlling mother. When a potential love interest enters Maureen’s life, her mom kicks her haranguing into high gear, leading to a shocking confrontation that makes even James Joyce’s The Dubliners seem cheerful by contrast. The Kitchen Dog Theater, 3120 McKinney Ave., tackles this dark comedy that’ll have you reaching for your flask when the curtain falls — and not just so you can toast the acting chops of leading ladies Nancy Sherrard and Karen Parrish. The play runs 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays until December 8, with tickets available online for $15 to $25 at kitchendogtheater.org.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 22. Continues through Dec. 8, 2012