The Mountains Look Different
By Micheál mac Liammóir
Directed by Aidan Redmond
May 30th 2019 through July 14th 2019
410 West 42nd St.
The Mountains Look Different is the story of Bairbre’s return home to Ireland, after a dozen hard years in London working the streets. Three days ago, she married Tom, who knows nothing of her past. Together they hope to settle with Tom’s father on his farm, and live a simple life far from the temptations and torments of the sinful city. But soon they will learn that it’s not easy for anyone to escape their past, even among the rocks and ruins of the mountainside.
A forgotten 1948 drama by Micheál mac Liammóir has been polished to a becoming shimmer at Theater Row…What’s alluring here is the storytelling, by both mac Liammóir and the actors, whose across-the-board restraint roots the characters in reality throughout.
The New York Times
The idea for the play struck mac Liammóir after working on Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie. He wondered what happened to Anna after the fall of the curtain. Then one day he saw a young married woman in Connemara looking out of the window at a motorcar who said with the slight hint of a London accent in her voice, “They look different from what they did when I was little—the mountains, I mean.”
Mountains stoked controversy in conservative Dublin in 1948. One night, two men left their seats at intermission and asked the audience to join with them in leaving the theater. Shouts of “Sit down” and “If you don’t like it leave” came from the audience; the ushers started towards the men, then the orchestra began to play and drowned out the protest. A handful of theatergoers left and the next day, every paper in Dublin told the story.
The play continued without interruption and received an enthusiastic ovation, including calls for the author. mac Liammóir himself played the role of Tom, so of course he heard the protest,but he said nothing. Later, he told the Irish Independent “that he believed the men who made the protest were sincere, but that it was a pity they had not waited to hear what the play had to say in the final act.”
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Sets: Vicki R. Davis
Costumes: Andrea Varga
Lights: Christian DeAngelis
Sound: M. Florian Staab
Props: Chris Fields
Dialects & Dramaturgy: Amy Stoller
Music Direction: Heather Martin Bixler
Music recorded by: Heather Martin Bixler, Tom Dunne
Casting: Stephanie Klapper, CSA
Production Stage Manager: Jeff Meyers
Stage Manager: Christine J. Colonna
Illustration: Stefano Imbert
Graphics: Hey Jude Design, Inc.
Press: David Gersten & Associates
Aidan Redmond and the Design Team
Meet our design team and peek into the creative process with director Aidan Redmond and his team. Mint Artistic Director Jonathan Bank will moderate this panel discussion.
"I was always being somebody else" The Theatre of Micheál mac Liammóir
Maya Cantu, Bennington College
Maya Cantu will discuss the amazing biography of our author, the man born Alfred Willimore in 1899. Maya is on the Drama Faculty at Bennington and Dramaturgical Advisor to the Mint. She received a D.F.A. in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at Yale School of Drama. Her book American Cinderellas on the Broadway Stage: Imagining the Working Girl from “Irene” to “Gypsy” is available through Palgrave Macmillan.
"Anna Christie" and The Mountains Look Different
Micheál mac Liammóir writes that the inspiration for The Mountains Look Different came after working on Anna Christie at the Gate Theatre. Zander Brietzke will help us understand what he meant. Brietzke is a former president of the Eugene O’Neill Society and editor of the Eugene O’Neill Review. He has published one monograph on O’Neill, The Aesthetics of Failure (McFarland 2001), and finished another, “Magnum Opus: The Extant Cycle Plays of Eugene O’Neill,” under contract at Yale University Press (est. pub. date in 2020). Other books include Action and Consequence in Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg (2017), American Drama in the Age of Film (2007) and two editions of Teaching with the Norton Anthology of Drama (2009, 2014). He has taught at Columbia University, Montclair State, The College of Wooster in Ohio and Lehigh University.
a podcast presented through RTÉ’s Documentary on One
This podcast provides an affectionate look at the life and legacy of Micheál MacLiammóir twenty years after his death. It features actor, Bill Golding, biographer, Christopher Fitz-Simon and former Managing Director of The Gate Theatre, Mary Cannon. Throughout this documentary we hear extracts of MacLiammóir, including him reading Padraic Pearse’s poem “Mise Éire”.