Playing a 40-year-old virgin whose spinsterhood is made certain by her energy-draining mother's omnipresence, Ferrell Marshall boils with a brilliant bitterness portending serious danger in Martin McDonagh's ode to the miseries of parental caretaking. Maureen (Marshall) has been holed up in the small Irish village of Leenane most of her life. When Leenane native Pato (an entirely endearing Alex Egan) visits home, it's Maureen's last shot at love. But Maureen's ever-complaining mother, Mag (a rather mannered Judy Nazemetz) is hell-bent on thwarting the love connection. As Maureen's hopes rise, cracks in her mental wellness begin to deepen, and her mother's meddling pushes her over the edge. August Viverito directs the tragicomic battle with an even hand and designs the depressing cottage kitchen to soul-killing effect. But Marshall, whose smile is as expressive as her sneer, merits the most kudos. The Production Company at the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through Feb. 18. (323) 871-1150,

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Jan. 13. Continues through Feb. 18, 2012

LA Weekly