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Best Theatrical Production 

The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Berkeley Repertory Theatre

"Production" is the key word here. Martin McDonagh's pitch-black 2001 comedy about how a dead cat belonging to an Irish splinter-group terrorist leads inevitably to a bloodbath may seem like light entertainment compared to his deeply creepy Pillowman, which played Berkeley Rep in 2007, but the execution of The Lieutenant of Inishmore this April and May was nothing short of jaw-dropping. Director Les Waters (who also staged Pillowman) and his cast, designers, and crew did an amazing job with the hefty challenges of tech, timing, and tone that the play presents: thick Irish dialect, more than thirty gallons of blood flowing in each performance, incredibly realistic gunshots and blood spatters, an actor performing an entire scene while hanging from his feet, the grisly sight and sound of sawing body parts, and, most of all, making the whole thing funny. It would have been easy for the farcical elements to get drowned in the gore, but instead Waters and company managed to make this bloody concoction not just palatable but delicious.

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