The Weir Conor | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Weir Conor

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McPherson's early plays were often driven by monologues--1997's The Weir is his first ensemble piece. Still, it relies heavily on the actors' abilities to make rambling tales seem simultaneously fresh and hardwired into the characters' psyches. A rural Irish pub on a wet night provides the setting for an evening of ghost stories, which begin with fairies and end with real loss, told by four locals and a newly arrived Dublin woman. Christopher Prentice's staging for Signal Ensemble Theatre features a note-perfect set by Melania Lancy and subtle, unhurried performances that manage to avoid the script's occasional drunken-blarney cliches. Melanie Keller as the seemingly upbeat newcomer skillfully unveils her character's troubled core, with grace and unblinking vulnerability. --Kerry Reid a Through 3/24: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, 773-347-1350, $10-$15.

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