For a second time this season, early demand has prompted Lantern Theater Company to announce an immediate extension of an upcoming production. Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, directed by Lantern Associate Artistic Director Kathryn MacMillan and featuring Mary Martello and Megan Bellwoar in the lead roles of Mag and Maureen Folan, will now run January 10 – February 10, 2013 (press opening Wednesday, January 16, 7 p.m.).
The Beauty Queen of Leenane is McDonagh's first produced play, a Tony Award-winning satire of the skirmishes and silent feuds between mothers and daughters. In a small town in western Ireland, spinster Maureen Folan lives with her diabolically helpless mother Mag. Maureen's married sisters escaped long ago, leaving Maureen stuck at home, chafing against Mag's cunning manipulations and lamenting her missed chances. When romance blossoms between Maureen and the sweet, uncomplicated Pato Dooley, it pits mother against daughter, setting the stage for an explosive, wildly funny, and deeply affecting finish.
"For me, Beauty Queen's compelling characters represent McDonagh at his best, which is why it is my favorite of his plays" says director Kathryn MacMillan, who also co-directed the Lantern's 2011 production of A Skull in Connemara. "McDonagh's world is populated by people who lack a moral center, instead they get caught up in tiny, petty grievances. This is the source of McDonagh's comedy, which is howlingly funny. But there is poignancy, too, because his characters feel isolated even when they are confined together. That is, until their grievances reach the boiling point – and explode. At its heart, Beauty Queen is an extreme mother-daughter relationship, but it is wonderfully familiar and truthful, as well."
Tickets for The Beauty Queen of Leenane are $20 – $38 and are available online at lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at 215-829-0395. $10 student rush tickets are available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID; cash only. Additional discounts are available for seniors and groups of 10 or more. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th & Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia.