a kate west review
by Conor McPherson
directed by Randall Arney
at The Geffen Playhouse
running January 30 - March 18
Call (310) 208-5454
Set in rural Ireland, "The Weir" portrays five characters tangled up in each other's lives. The landscape is an integral part of Irish mythology and lore, matching everyone's emotions, which are as turbulent as a raging stream against a dam, or weir.
Inside a traditional Irish pub (nicely captured by Scene Designer Karyl Newman), five people tell ghost stories. There is no real plot except for a young woman moving to their small village from Dublin and everything revolves from there. Outside of the novelty of casting television's John Mahoney in the lead, it is a fairly innocuous piece. The rest of the cast (Ian Barford, Paul Vincent O'Connor, Francis Guinan and Lindsay Crouse) are more or less fine, as are the production values for the most part (such as Costumer Mary Quigly, etc.)
However, overall it is not all that memorable and Mahoney really pushes himself. Apparently used to a different medium for so long, he strains to fill the space, which can get grating. Perhaps this smaller play would to better in a less cavernous spot.