note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Beverly Creasey
John Millington Synge’s blissfully anti-social comedy, THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, is having a delightful outing at the Wellesley Summer Theatre (operating year round) through March 29th. Director Nora Hussey invents a whimsical world where the wild and the perverse seem perfectly plausible. When a disheveled young man appears at a publick house in rural County Mayo, he becomes an instant divertissement for the whole town, a cure for boredom and a symbol of rebellion.
I wouldn’t dare divulge the delicious twists in this turn-of –the-century masterpiece of Irish literature. Suffice it to say Hussey has the cast to make it all sparkle. The setting is as much the denizens of the drinking house as it is Ken Loewit’s beautifully “Stonehenge”-beamed bar. Derek Stone Nelson is spot on as the cranky barkeep who leads a band of marvelous misfits hither and yon in search of more opportunity for carousing.
Shelley Bolman is downright hysterical as the swaggering braggart and Will Keary gets oodles of giggles as the leery Doubting Thomas of the crew. Danny Bolton’s sniveling as the daughter’s uptight suitor is as hilarious as is Kelly Galvin’s repudiation of the spineless twerp.
Lewis D. Wheeler transforms neatly from bedraggled stranger to cock-of-the-walk (inspiring Vicky George, Lily Saffer and Ashley Gramolini to vie for his favours) but it’s John Davin who runs away with the show lock, stock and barrel. Davin practically sets the stage afire as he searches for the unlucky criminal who tried to wrong him. He’s a veritable powder keg itching to ignite. If you’ve never seen PLAYBOY, now’s your chance …and if you have, see it again for Davin’s devilish turn.