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Jim Norton
Conor McPherson, known for gritty immorality plays, shows tender side
Conor McPherson, known for gritty immorality plays, shows tender side

No one would accuse Conor McPherson of going soft. As Ireland's preeminent playwright, he is renowned for his bruising, binge-drinking, invective-spewing immorality tales. His plays may be more humane than the sadistic farces of his Anglo-Irish contemporary Martin McDonagh, yet there has been no let up in malevolence. In "The Seafarer," produced at the Geffen Playhouse in 2009, the devil himself has a starring role as a poker-playing ensnarer of souls. And in his latest work, "The Night Alive," which opens at the Geffen on Feb. 11, a hammer-wielding maniac has a scene that is one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had in a theater. ESSENTIAL ARTS...

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