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Costa Mesa Playhouse Kicks Off Season 58 with “The Beauty Queen of Leenane”

Taken from the press release: 

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a darkly comic tale centering on a manipulative aging mother, Mag Folan, and her spinster daughter, Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman, who live together in the small Irish village of Leenane. Mag’s meddling in Maureen’s first (and potentially last) loving relationship sets in motion a chain of events that are as tragically funny as they are horrific.

The CMP production is being co-directed by Peter Kreder and Michael Serna.

“This show will be unlike anything we’ve done in a few years,” remarks Serna. “Our vision is to create a raw, emotional yet darkly humorous ride for the audience. I’ve designed the set to push the action very close to the audience, so they are somewhat trapped in the room with these characters.”

A longtime enthusiast of McDonagh, Serna has seen just about all his works performed onstage in some capacity, from small community theaters to the West End, as well as onscreen where McDonagh most recently made waves with nine Oscar nominations for The Banshees of Inisherin (2022). 

“I guess you could say I am a bit of a fan,” adds Serna, who previously introduced McDonagh to the CMP stage with the 2015 production of A Behanding in Spokane. “I’m particularly drawn to the challenges he places on the director. Each of his plays presents something strikingly challenging to pull off onstage, and he trusts that the company will figure out how to pull it off realistically.”

Serna and Kreder have assembled a seasoned cast of talent who have made their mark on Orange County’s thriving theater scene, including familiar faces from award-winning and highly received CMP productions, such as God of Carnage, Dinner With Friends, The Christians, and Clybourne Park.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane features Jordana Whitton (Maureen Folan), Andrea G. La Vela (Mag Folan), Mark Coyan (Pato Dooley), and Cody Aaron Hanify (Ray Dooley). Silvana Gargione is understudying the role of Mag and will take the stage for September 7th – 10th performances.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane runs August 25 through September 17, 2023. Performances are Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.

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