Da | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Hugh Leonard's adaptation of his autobiographical play of the same title, partially based in turn on his book Home Before Night, offers a charming mix of childhood memoir and speculative wish fulfillment. An Irish playwright living in New York (Martin Sheen) returns to Ireland to attend the funeral of his father (Barnard Hughes), and then proceeds to have lengthy conversations with the old codger, with his younger self (Karl Hayden), his mother (Doreen Hepburn), and a former employer (William Hickey) all becoming a part of the discussion. As touching as most of this is, one's tolerance for good-natured, sentimental blarney is occasionally stretched--as in some of John Ford's depictions of Irish life, such as The Quiet Man--but the actors and director Matt Clark manage to keep most of it fluid and likable. (Fine Arts)

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