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The Cripple of Inishmaan 

When: Thu., May 26, 8 p.m., Fri., May 27, 7 p.m., Sun., May 29, 3:30 & 8:30 p.m., Mon., May 30, 8:30 p.m., Tue., May 31, 8 p.m., Wed., June 1, 8 p.m., Fri., June 3, 8 p.m., Sat., June 4, 3:30 & 8:30 p.m., Sun., June 5, 3:30 p.m., Mon., June 6, 8 p.m., Wed., June 8, 3:30 & 8:30 p.m., Thu., June 9, 8 p.m., Sat., June 11, 3:30 & 8:30 p.m. and Sun., June 12, 3:30 p.m. 2011
Phone: (843) 722-2764
Price: $25-$75
www.spoletousa.org

A work of a dark heart. In its review of Druid Theatre's 2008 production of Martin McDonagh's play The Cripple of Inishmaan, the New York Times referred to the acclaimed/reviled playwright as "theater's reigning master of gory Irish gothic" but went on to say that "this is the work that people point to as evidence that Mr. McDonagh has a heart."

From Ireland to Hollywood. The play, presented by the Irish company Druid Theatre and directed by award-winner Garry Hynes, is set on the sleepy island of Inishmaan in 1934. A Hollywood feature film is being made on a neighboring isle, and movie fever sweeps the residents, who are quite desperate for a bit of excitement. Crippled Billy decides he must audition, and dark comedy ensues.

Kirk Douglas likes it, and you will too. The play has been on tour in the U.S., playing the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles in April. After seeing the show, Douglas sent the company a letter: "I must tell you, I have never seen such a balanced performance. Each character seems to be perfect in their part. It's a wonderful production and I'm proud it is playing in the Kirk Douglas Theatre." It opens in Charleston on Thurs. May 26 and plays throughout the entire festival, giving Spoletians ample time to get over to the Dock Street and see it.

— Stephanie Barna

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