McCarter Theatre Center’s Berlind Theatre has a gem of a feature– an Emerald in fact–Marie Jones’ “Stones in His Pockets,” happening through February 11, and this is the perfect gift for your Valentine. This show hearkens back to how people originally experienced theatre–through storytelling. And Garret Lombard and Aaron Monaghan are two of Ireland’s finest, blessed with the Blarney.
Charlie Conlon (Lombard) and Jake Quinn (Monaghan) are boon companions, who have met while working as extras on “The Quiet Valley,” a romantic movie about Ireland, and Quinn’s entire village has been taken over as only Hollywood can. As the play spins out, we learn more and more about each man’s philosophy, their hopes and dreams and the environs in which they find themselves. Conlon and Quinn are both characters. In fact, they’re EVERY character–men and women, experienced and green, and their transitions among these characters with movement and mien take us in immediately.
Director Lindsay Posner gives us the true sense of Irish lore and community in this richly entertaining production. Sets, costumes, and projection design are all Beowulf Borritt, and the stage gives the actors plenty of space and latitude to create. While the set seems austere initially, it is populated with a village and they all need some room.
Comic magic, and a situation tragic, combine to give us the inside and outside view of a community, whose local economy gets a shot in the arm, even as the movie shots create a village that is not at all like the one that actually exists. Original music and sound design by Lindsay Jones is sometimes so subtle that you don’t realize it’s been with you much longer. This is deft, beautiful and daft and the craft is very rich. Make your plans immediately before all the seats are gone!
This magnificent show closes on February 11, so reserve NOW. Contact the box office at www.McCarter.org
or via telephone at 609/258-ARTS (2787).