The Lieutenant of Inishmore Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through June 7 2009

These days, Martin McDonagh is known in Chicago primarily as Tracy Letts's pal and early influence. But once upon a time he was famous in his own right as a bad-boy playwright whose first five scripts demolished myths of Irish life and theater, often by hacking them to gruesome bits. This 2001 black-and-bloodred comedy is a prime example, following the absurd mayhem that ensues when a psychopathic Irish separatist hears that his beloved cat's been brained. Directors usually keep the most ghoulish bits offstage, but B.J. Jones's Tarantino-ized production puts them, spurtingly, front and center. There's a giddy novelty to the approach at first, but it ultimately backfires: I found myself idly wondering why it was necessary to saw through hard wrist bones when the dead would be just as unidentifiable with their fingers snipped off. --Tony Adler

Price: $25-$55

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