Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Devlish Christmas in Ireland

Photo (l to r): Ivan (Phil Cowan), Sharky (Kevin Karrick), Nicky (John Lamb), Mr. Lockhart (Kurt Johnson)

In a quirky preview of Christmas, Sacramento’s B Street Theatre presents Conor McPherson’s “The Seafarer,” a comedy set near contemporary Dublin. It starts on Christmas Eve in a modest apartment, where two brothers Richard and Sharky Harkin (David Silbeman and Kevin Karrick) prepare for an all-male Christmas celebration, mainly a poker game. Richard, the elder, is blind and Sharky is a recovering alcoholic. Visiting is an absent-minded friend, Ivan Curry (Phil Cowan), who can’t find his glasses or his car.

The action mainly revolves around opening liquor bottles and sampling the contents. The trio later adds Richard’s friend Nicky Giblin (John Lamb), a ne’er-do-well hooked up with Sharky’s ex-wife, whom he drives around in Sharky’s car. Into this clutch of losers comes the mysterious Mr. Lockhart (Kurt Johnson), possibly a devil from hell who seeks Sharky’s soul. And the souls of anyone else he can catch.

The climax of the play comes during the Christmas Day poker game, where more is at stake than money. Despite fine performances all around and Jerry Montoya’s skillful directing, the characters, except for Lockhart, are predictable. So what could have succeeded as a one-act drags into two acts.

“The Seafarer” continues through December 13 at 2711 B Street, behind the Stanford Park Baseball Field. Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m., plus one Sunday (11/16) matinee and one Wednesday (11/26) matinee, both at 1 p.m. Matinees on Thursday (11/13 and 12/4 only) are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22-$30 with student and senior discounts available. Call (916) 443-5300.

Because of some language and content, no one under 16 will be admitted.

For a fuller review, which appears in El Dorado Hills’ Village Life, click the title of this post.

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