When: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Thursday and 4 p.m. Sunday, through Aug. 4 Where: Straz Center, 1010 MacInnes Place, Tampa Tickets: $28; (813) 229-7827 and www.strazcenter.org
To mark its 10th anniversary, Jobsite Theater is going back to the beginning. The Straz Center's resident theater company will perform "The Lonesome West," by Tony-nominated playwright Martin McDonagh, who wrote the troupe's first production, "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" in 2003. The production begins tonight and runs through Aug. 4 at The Straz. "The Lonesome West" tells the story of two brothers living together in Leenane, Ireland. In the wake of their father's death, Coleman and Valene find any semblance of a peaceful life impossible, and old feelings are dredged up to be reconciled through a feud that reaches near biblical proportions. A priest takes it upon himself to help out the brothers as they careen out of control. McDonagh was a Tony-award best play nominee for "Lonesome West."
"Anybody who knows (McDonagh's) work has an expectation of what he's about," said David M. Jenkins, Jobsite Theater's artistic director. "This is a very dark comedy. Sometimes the darkness comes through in the coarseness of his characters. They are crass and rude people, and he tends to use a lot of obscenities." McDonagh, 30, has been described as one of the most important living Irish playwrights. For the time being, McDonagh no longer is writing plays and is focusing his talents on Hollywood, in films. His movies include "In Bruges," "Seven Psychopaths," and the short film "Six Shooter," which won the playwright an Academy Award in 2006. Jobsite Theater also has performed McDonagh's "The Pillow Man," and "The Lieutenant of Inishmore." "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" also won McDonagh the Best Play Category at the 64th Annual Drama League Awards.
"We think it's a great way to celebrate our 10 years as resident theater company," Jenkins added. " 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane'?" was the first McDonagh play we produced as a company, and the show that we had running when Straz President Judy Lisi offered us the position of resident theater company. That was a huge step for us as a company in 2003. Since, Martin McDonagh has been one of our favorite playwrights."