"The Beauty Queen of Leenane" marks my first show as an invited critic to Third Rail Rep, though I've been a long time fan of their work. It is also gratifying to see them fitting so comfortably into their new home at the Winningstad Theatre. In fact, if memory serves, the last production I saw of theirs was also a Martin McDonagh play, "A Skull in Connemara," on my birthday during their first "Leenane Day" in which a full production of a play in the Trilogy is performed after readings of the other two.
"Beauty Queen" is the first of the Trilogy, a play which mostly focuses on the strained relationship of Maureen and her mother, Mag, though there is room for McDonagh's trademark odd-ball supporting characters, as well as some of the darkness he is also known for, but I'd better leave it at that.... Both actresses are in top form, Jayne Taini is the grating and conniving Mag and Maureen is Maureen Porter, in a role she seems meant to play, right down to her first name.
It is an honor to be added to Third Rail's Press List. I can not wait for next season.