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Review: Racism fuels poignant 'Luck Of The Irish'

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm •  Published: February 11, 2013

Flighty young Joe Donovan, who fathered six children but doesn't hold down a regular job, is imbued with guilt and sensitivity by Dashiell Eaves. The elderly, 21st-century Donovans are expertly portrayed by Robert Hogan (wearing a long-beaten-down air) and, in a late appearance, Jenny O'Hara (credibly emanating a lifetime of outrage.)

Eisa Davis seems lit from within as Lucy, the outwardly serene wife of doctor Rex Taylor. Victor Williams exudes confidence and capability as her loving, hard-working husband.

Back in the present day, Frank Harts is down-to-earth as Hannah's engineer husband, Rich. When not bucking up Hannah with common sense, he's hollering comedic advice to his never-seen son, like, "We're men, son. We don't call Mommy except in our sleep." Hannah's at odds with her younger sister Nessa, too, (Carra Patterson, sweetly disgruntled) and the sisters argue emotionally about keeping or selling the house.

Taichman smoothly stages most of the play on a field of artificial grass that serves as the Taylors' large, idyllic back yard. Other locations are smartly delineated by Mimi Lien's set design, including an airy, acrylic rendition of the exterior of the Taylors' house. In sharp contrast is the dark, steamy kitchen where Patty Ann does other people's laundry and nurses her misguided resentments.

Although the elderly Joe speaks wistfully of "the winds of change", it's clear those winds and the alleged "luck" of the Irish both bypassed his bitter wife long ago.