The Beauty Queen of Leenane | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Beauty Queen of Leenane 

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In Martin McDonagh's 1996 play, circumstances have forced a tyrannical mother and her mentally unstable middle-aged daughter to live together in a relationship that offers them nothing better to do than torment and bully each other. (What? You thought women were naturally caring and unselfish?) But in Trudie Kessler's staging for Actors Workshop Theatre, no one wallows in the script's grotesque misanthropy. Taking advantage of the intimate playing space, Debra Rodkin and Jacqueline Grandt generate sympathy, however grudging, for two neglected women trapped in a cruel battle of wills. Through 7/9: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Actors Workshop Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr, 773-728-7529, $20-$25.

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