Not Dancing But Drowning

The same themes do not make this bleak work a Lughnasa

Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa dominated the 1992 Tony awards and this season will be the most produced play in the U.S., with at least 16 major regional stagings. The arrival of his new Wonderful Tennessee was a major Broadway event. Alas, so was its departure at week's end. A lesser work than Lughnasa, it failed because it is also a bleaker one. While Lughnasa portrayed in poignant detail the hard times of the five Mundy sisters in rural Ireland in 1937 and foreshadowed still worse things to befall them, the dominant memory it left was of the explosive eruption into...

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