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Mommy Issues

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is an Irish play set in a cramped, drab kitchen, where an aging mother and her spinster daughter are destroying each other in a deranged, deteriorating, codependent relationship. Funny, right? Though profoundly bleak, the play is leavened by the peculiar dark comedy special to playwright Martin McDonagh, who in the Lieutenant of Inishmore managed to make hacked-up bodies hilarious.

Mag, the parasitic mother — pictured on the published screenplay as a frowning, bloated, sweaty mound of a woman who may well be Fat Bastard’s sister — subjects her daughter to vicious mind games when two washed-up men wind up at the house and kindle in the abused daughter stirrings of desperate romance. Secrets, lies, and betrayals fill the tiny kitchen like smoke from an oven fire as the plot twists escalate.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane shows at Palm Beach Dramaworks (322 Banyan Blvd., West Palm Beach) through June 19. Specially priced previews are scheduled for 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets cost $36, $10 for students. Call 561-514-4042, or visit
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 6. Continues through June 19, 2011


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