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The dark comedy of 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' hits the stage

Black comedy, melodrama, horror and tragedy are themes that mark the adult drama “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. Directed by Lamar instructor Joel Grothe, “Beauty Queen” will run in the Studio Theatre Feb. 23–26.

The darkly comic play, set in the Irish village of LeenaneConnemara, in the early 1990s, tells the story of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early 40s, and Mag, her manipulative, aging mother. Mag’s interference in Maureen's first and possibly final chance of a loving relationship sets in motion a train of events that leads towards a terrifying climax.

“The play is about a very dysfunctional mother/daughter relationship,” said Grothe. “The audience laughs, and then realizes what they laughed at.  It’s a play that most people have not seen anything like before.”

Senior theatre major Bonnie Dupuis of Groves plays the title role of Maureen, the “beauty queen,” and Hillary Hayes of Silsbee, plays Mag. The four-person cast also includes Joe Whitaker, Beaumont, as Pato, and Jared Fall, Mauriceville, as Ray.

“It’s very demanding to be part of a small cast like this,” said Grothe. “These are all upperclassmen, and they’ve put a lot of work into the show.”

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 – 25 in the Studio Theatre. There will be a 1 p.m. matinee on Friday, Feb. 24, and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Feb. 26. The Studio Theatre is in the University Theatre at 4400 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. Tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for senior citizens, students and LU faculty/staff; and $7 for LU students. 

This play is for mature audiences only.

Call the Department of Theatre & Dance Box Office at (409) 880-2250 for reservations and additional information.