In their inaugural production at their new home, Seanachai presents Brian Friel’s bittersweet memory play, chronicling a simpler time that wasn’t so simple.
In Depression-era Ireland, The Mundy sisters welcome their African missionary brother Jack (Don Bender) home after twenty-five years’ service. That’s not the only change the sisters endure. Kate (Barbara Figgins) may lose the teaching job that supports their family; Agnes (Carolyn Klein) and Rose (Anne Sunseri) will lose their glove-making living when a factory puts them out of business. Maggie (Sarah Wellington) and Chris (Simone Roos) yearn for joy as their gray world closes in.
The ensemble captures the piece’s very Irish combination of quick humor and painful melancholy. Wellington brightens the mood with quips and riddles; Figgins finds the desperation as upstanding stalwart Kate finds her back against the wall. Klein, Sunseri and Roos furtively and effectively hunger for love they can never know. (Lisa Buscani)
Seanachai Theatre Company at The Irish American Cultural Center, 4626 N. Knox Avenue, 866 811-4111. Through April 4.