March’s Vanity Fair details Ireland’s economic bust; shoddy land deals derailed economic recovery. Gerard Stembridge’s script paints a picture of that wheeling-dealing in the early aughts, mixed with classist prejudices and Anglo-Irish tensions.
Developer Noel (Ira Amyx) needs bribe money and turns to sniffy Brits Julian (Joseph Wycoff) and June (Sarah Wellington), who launder money for despots. Years later, June and Julian fish for similar favors. The development dinners occur five years apart but are performed simultaneously.
The duality gimmick wears after a while; the characters invade each other’s space and the staging can be confusing. But strong performances keep the story on track. Amyx nails both mean drunk and sanctimonious recovering alcoholic; it’s a challenge to make that downward slide plausible. Wellington and Wycoff modulate comfortably between smug condescension and breathless desperation. Molly Glynn shines as Noel’s decent wife who, like the other characters’ morals, isn’t around for long. (Lisa Buscani)
Seanachai Theatre Company at the Irish-American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox, (866)811-4111. Through April 3.