I saw The Seafarer at Steppenwolf on Saturday and liked it so much I actually got on my feet at the end. I hate it when people stand up for plays that are only pretty good or and especially hate it for plays that are out and out crap (I'm looking at you One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). Standing ovations are for exceptional theater events only. ONLY! I have spoken. Moving on.
Conor McPherson really seems to get how powerful and immobilizing the force of regret is. And yet (hi, Dave!), he also seems to believe that redemption is always at hand, no matter how great our sins or how wasted our lives. There's an exchange at the end between Sharkey and Richard that I swear to the gods actually made my heart sing. Seriously. Four days later, it still does.
And besides all that deep stuff, his plays are such a good ride. With a cast to do them justice (and this one does), the two hours fly by. You are in the palm of this play's hand. Also, one of the characters is Satan. And Satan gets drunk! This play has a drunk Satan. It's awesome.
Quick anecdote: this is an Irish play about drunk Irish men, so obviously around 2/3 of the lines in it including the word "focking." John Mahoney, for example: "I'm trying to focking use the focking toilet!" So, when the play ends, I looked at my friends and said "That was so focking good!" The lady in front of me glared at me and gave me a "tsk." Seriously. Hee.