by Arnie Finkel

Methacton Community Theater has chosen for their annual dinner theater THE IRISH WAKE OF PATTY O’TOOLE. MCT makes a practice of showcasing the works of local playwrights for these productions. In this case, the play chosen is a comedy by Judith Sapperstein and Gary Murway.

As the title suggests we are attending the wake of the dear departed Patty O’Toole. We meet some of Patty’s boyhood friends Ryan Fitzgerald (Patrick McGurk), Liam Harrigan (Cliff Reese), and Conner O’Boyle (Daniel Rueckle); two of Patty’s girlfriends Burnadette McDevitt (Audrey Reese), and Maureen McCleary Donnelly (Alexis Leigh Ross) along with Maureen’s husband Aiden Donnelly (Tab Baker). The Funeral Director (Scott Cass) conducts the ceremony with the help of Officer Shamus O’Rourke (Keith Truman), pub owner Mike Murphy (Brian McKay) and Father Shawnasee (David Kriebel). The trouble occurs when Patty himself 9Evan McElhiney) shows up as the folks begin to tell tales of his shenanigans. Seems he’s not yet been accepted to Heaven or the other place and he comments on the truth of what is said about him.

The ensemble cast is uniformly good-and are right on with their accents. I was especially pleased with the tipsiness of Liam. The cat fights between the ladies were well staged and performed.

In a play that is inherently static, in that it is a series of solo speeches, first time director Geoff Randall has wisely focused on building character in his production. Randall has Patty wandering through the audience making good use of the venue. Randall has appeared in five of MCT’s dinner theaters himself. The experience Hs served him well.

Sapperstein and Murway have written a fun filled evening of Irish themed humor. The cast is having a ball and it radiates to the audience. Put this together with a fine meal provided by the Center Square Golf Club and you have a good evening’s entertainment. Go and enjoy yourself.

March 7,8 , 14, and 15 6:30 March 9 & 16 1:30, 2014
By Judith Sapperstein and Gary Murway
Directed by Geoff Randall
Methacton Community Theater
Center Square Golf Club
Skippack Pike and Whitehall Road
Center Square Pa.

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