Originally published 06/09/2013
Playboy of the Western World Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey Drew University Madison, N.J.In the novel The Great Gatsby, partygoers at Jay Gatsby’s elegant mansion are thrilled to hear a rumor that Gatsby had killed a man. In their champagne drenched eyes, a killer was a hero.In the play and movie Chicago, murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly are turned into singing, dancing heroines in the middle of the Roaring Twenties because they killed the men in their lives.In Playboy of the Western World, by J.M. Synge, which just opened at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, residents of a small village in Ireland in 1907 treat their odd visitor, young Christy Mahon, as a God when he announces with triumphal glee that he has just murdered his father. Men see him as an admirable character and women go crazy over him.