The Quiet Man Tales

By Frank Mahon & Milissa Pacelliquietmanlogo2

Directed by Susan Felder

Produced by Libby Adler Mages, Tony D’Angelo

And Smock Alley Theater Company

Tales of rural Irish life filled with humor and heart

Based on Green Rushes by Maurice Walsh with a wink at the 1952 film by John Ford and staring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, The Quiet Man Tales come from a collection of short stories about County Kerry, Ireland at the end of the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). We see how the men and women were affected by the war as same set of characters are weaved throughout the play. Filled with humor, traditional Irish music, The Quiet Man Tales gives modern audiences a glimpse into the folklore, traditions and strong sense of community life in rural Ireland in the 1920’s. This is grand Irish story telling that has laughs aplenty, high drama and action.

We meet the IRA flying squad of Michael Collins rebels as they are about to ambush a convoy of Brits. But they spot a Scottish officer, Archie MacDonald (Aaron Christensen), at the head of the column. Since the IRA men served with Archie in Greece with the British Army in the Great War, they hold their fire. Archie, bent on fishing, walks into their hiding place. The rebels decide to do a friendly capture of Archie, moving him from fishing spot to spot. We learn much about the main characters and their women in these early scenes.

Nuala Kierley (Regina Leslie) seduces a British spy, Henry Hanley (Eric Leonard), and gathers information about an Irish traitor who turns out to be her husband. Sean Glynn (Scott Cummins) is an IRA officer madly in love with Joan Hyland (Karen Janes Woditsch) but a cousin to Nuala. Sean must hide Nuala and keep her secret causing him to lose Joan. The war ends, yet Sean and Joan are estranged as Sean retreats into the bottle. The IRA guys try to help Sean stop drinking by getting him and Joan back together. They also want to help Paddy Bawn Enright (Ron Rains)—one of their own fighters know as ‘the quiet man’ find a wife. Paddy pines for Ellen Roe O’Danaher (Cassandra Bissell) but her brother Red Will O’Danaher (Bret Tuomi) refuses to give his sister her dowry ever after the two lovers are wed.

The tight Irish community—where everyone knows everyone’s business; where everyone is safe and helped by everyone–is humorously and sincerely defected in this entertaining work. We witness how loyal, accepting and determined the Irish can be toward their own. You’ll hear funny self deprecating humor, fine Irish music (the guys sing a heartfelt version of “Red is the Rose”) and warmhearted romance as the characters pair off. The five stories get resolved after the famous donnybrook between Paddy Bawn Enright and Red Will O’Donaher. This rich story is filled with memorable characters and humor that aptly depicts the quirkiness and honesty of the Irish. The Quiet Man Tales unfolds as an professionally acted work with fine brogues, strong characterizations and loads of heart. Ron Rains, Cassandra Bissell, Scott Cummins and Aaron Christensen were particularly excellent. Add another fine work to the rich tradition of Irish theatre. Fans of the film will enjoy the complete story of The Quiet Man Tales.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Jeff Recommended


At the Chicago Theatre Downstairs 175 N. State Street Chicago, IL Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 4 & 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. Running time is 2 hours, 25 minutes with intermission.

[mappress address=”175 N. State, Chicago, IL” ]


< ! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} >

< ! [endif] >

By Frank Mahon & Milissa Pacelliquietmanlogo2

Directed by Susan Felder

Produced by Libby Adler Mages, Tony D’Angelo

And Smock Alley Theater Company

Tales of rural Irish life filled with humor and heart

Based on Green Rushes by Maurice Walsh with a wink at the 1952 film by John Ford and staring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, The Quiet Man Tales come from a collection of short stories about County Kerry, Ireland at the end of the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). We see how the men and women were affected by the war as same set of characters are weaved throughout the play. Filled with humor, traditional Irish music, The Quiet Man Tales gives modern audiences a glimpse into the folklore, traditions and strong sense of community life in rural Ireland in the 1920’s. This is grand Irish story telling that has laughs aplenty, high drama and action.

We meet the IRA flying squad of Michael Collins rebels as they are about to ambush a convoy of Brits. But they spot a Scottish officer, Archie MacDonald (Aaron Christensen), at the head of the column. Since the IRA men served with Archie in Greece with the British Army in the Great War, they hold their fire. Archie, bent on fishing, walks into their hiding place. The rebels decide to do a friendly capture of Archie, moving him from fishing spot to spot. We learn much about the main characters and their women in these early scenes.

Nuala Kierley (Regina Leslie) seduces a British spy, Henry Hanley (Eric Leonard), and gathers information about an Irish traitor who turns out to be her husband. Sean Glynn (Scott Cummins) is an IRA officer madly in love with Joan Hyland (Karen Janes Woditsch) but a cousin to Nuala. Sean must hide Nuala and keep her secret causing him to lose Joan. The war ends, yet Sean and Joan are estranged as Sean retreats into the bottle. The IRA guys try to help Sean stop drinking by getting him and Joan back together. They also want to help Paddy Bawn Enright (Ron Rains)—one of their own fighters know as ‘the quiet man’ find a wife. Paddy pines for Ellen Roe O’Danaher (Cassandra Bissell) but her brother Red Will O’Danaher (Bret Tuomi) refuses to give his sister her dowry ever after the two lovers are wed.

The tight Irish community—where everyone knows everyone’s business; where everyone is safe and helped by everyone is humorously and sincerely defected in this entertaining work. We witness how loyal, accepting and determined the Irish can be toward their own. You’ll hear funny self deprecating humor, fine Irish music (the guys sing a heartfelt version of “Red is the Rose”) and warmhearted romance as the characters pair off. The five stories get resolved after the famous donnybrook between Paddy Bawn Enright and Red Will O’Donaher. This rich story is filled with memorable characters and humor that aptly depicts the quirkiness and honesty of the Irish. The Quiet Man Tales unfolds as an professionally acted work with fine brogues, strong characterizations and loads of heart. Ron Rains, Cassandra Bissell, Scott Cummins and Aaron Christensen were particularly excellent. Add another fine work to the rich tradition of Irish theatre. Fans of the film will enjoy the complete story of The Quiet Man Tales.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Jeff Recommended


At the Chicago Theatre Downstairs 175 N. State Street Chicago, IL Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 4 & 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. Running time is 2 hours, 25 minutes with intermission.