There's a memorably tender moment, in this production of Graham Reid's 1984 Irish play, when two widowed seniors, Bert (Mik Scriba), a Protestant, and Theresa (Diana Angelina), a Catholic, kiss for the first time. The two always meet in a cemetery, where they regularly tend the graves of their respective sons, both foully murdered amid "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. Decent, likable people, these older folk contrast favorably with their angry, bigoted children who, ungenerous and unforgiving, oppose their parents' romance. Each character in this well-made albeit over-extended play has an intriguing story: Bert's alcoholic son, Victor (Johnny O'Callaghan), is jealous of his dead brother and distraught over a pending divorce. Theresa's daughter, Joan (Alice Cutler), suffers with guilt over her brother's death while her belligerent sister, Deirdre (Christine Joëlle), twists her sexual frustration -- her husband is a jailed- for-life militant -- into anger and aggression. Victor's compassionate ex-wife (Elizabeth Lande) fights to stay distant from a man she still cares for. Director Tim Byron Owen's deft hand is clearly visible in these skilled portraits. Michele Young's costumes create reassuring authenticity; sound designer Bill Froggatt's twittering birds add a touch of whimsy, as musically fragile as the lovers' fleeting hopes. Theatre 40 at the Reuben Cordova Theater, 241 Moreno Drive (on the Beverly Hills High School campus), Beverly Hills; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through April 21. (310) 364-0535, theatre40.org.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 21. Continues through April 21, 2013
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