Dancing as fast as they can


Pagan spirit -- and strong performances -- drive the Rubicon Theatre's delicate dance of hope and despair.

March 05, 2003|Philip Brandes | Special to The Times  

"It takes exceptionally fluid performances to maneuver through the intricate, emotional steps of "Dancing at Lughnasa," Brian Friel's achingly eloquent memory play about an impoverished rural Irish family facing a pivotal end-of-summer harvest season in 1936. ...Ventura's Rubicon Theatre Company proves up to the challenge, with a stellar cast that evokes a bygone era in a foreign land with convincing naturalism.The all-important sense of family -- with its crisscrossed affections and loyalties -- is palpable among the five Mundy sisters.... Reuniting several members of the Rubicon's hit revival of "The Rainmaker," Jenny Sullivan's staging strikes a similar tone of hope amid adversity, with various manifestations of dancing providing the wellspring of rejuvenation."