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THEATER BEAT

'The Shaughraun': Director Wanted

May 28, 1993|JAN BRESLAUER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

This staging of Dion Boucicault's "The Shaughraun" may look like a college production, but it's not. The fresh-faced ensemble troops gamely through this sprawling late 19th-Century Irish epic on the Tamarind's too small stage. But even if they were better actors, they couldn't make up for the lack of directorial vision that reduces the play to museum-piece hack work.

The text isn't an irredeemable clunker. Yet given its share of star-crossed sweethearts, picaresque swashbuckling romps and quaint adventure intrigues, it takes a strong hand at the helm to justify the revival. Otherwise it looks like theater that exists just to provide hands-on dialect training for a pack of neophyte actors. Which, come to think of it, is probably what this is.

*"The Shaughraun," Tamarind Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood . Mondays-Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Ends June 9. $15. (213) 466-1767. Running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes.

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