Skokie's Northlight Theatre, which introduced Chicago-area audiences to the work of Martin McDonagh with its 1999 production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, returns to the Anglo-Irish playwright's work with this dark comedy about life and death in rural Galway. Mick Dowd (Si Osborne) has been hired to dig up old bones in a churchyard to make room for new corpses; among the graves set for recycling is one occupied by his late wife, killed seven years earlier in a car crash when Mick was driving drunk. Was the accident really a cover-up for a murder, as many townsfolk suspect? The plot thickens when the grave turns up empty. Briskly directed by B.J. Jones, the play revels in the characters' gallows humor and raunchy profanity as well as the lilting rhythms of their speech. Mordantly funny, this is a mystery that leads viewers through a maze of plot twists even as they delight in the actors' surefooted performances. Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-673-6300. Through March 10: Tuesdays, 7:30 PM; Wednesdays, 1 and 8 PM; Thursdays-Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 3 and 8 PM; Sundays, 2:30 PM; Saturday, February 23, 8 PM only; Sunday, February 24, 2:30 and 7 PM; Wednesday, February 27, 8 PM; Wednesday, March 6, 2 and 8 PM; no show Tuesday, March 5. $32-$45.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Brosilow.