‘The Sunset Limited’ packs a punch at Summer Stage

Melody G. Moore, left, and Tammy Shanley star in “The Sunset Limited,” a play written by author Cormac McCarthy, right. COURTESY PHOTO

Melody G. Moore, left, and Tammy Shanley star in “The Sunset Limited,” a play written by author Cormac McCarthy, right. COURTESY PHOTO

Some say Cormac McCarthy is an acquired taste. Others say they can’t imagine their personal library without at least one of his works on the shelf. But all agree on one thing: that McCarthy is one of the finest writers putting pen to paper in America today.

This month, Key West gets a rare and riveting taste of McCarthy’s skill when TheatreXP presents a staging of his powerful play,

The Sunset Limited,” as part of this year’s Summer Stage events. The production, which closes June 20, will grace the Red Barn Theatre stage under the direction of TheatreXP’s Bob Bowersox, and star Melody G. Moore and Tammy Shanley in the two lead roles.

McCarthy has written across all media — plays, screenplays, novels, short stories. He’s probably best known for penning “No Country For Old Men,” the hit Coen Brothers movie that won four Oscars, and for “The Road,” which won him the Pulitzer Prize in 2006, also becoming a hit movie. His “All the in front of a train, takes the woman Pretty Horses” won the National Book back to an apartment and tries to steer Award, and was similarly made into a her from her dark path by sharing her hit film. His novels have consistently unwavering faith in God, the Bible and topped all best seller lists. the Christian promise of everlasting



“The Sunset Limited” fits perfectly life. But the woman she saved will have into McCarthy’s oeuvre. He has often none of it, triggering a battle of wits and stated that he feels writers must deal world views that, in the end, can have with the most important issues of life, only one victor. particularly life and death,” which is, “McCarthy is one of the best at pitting at its core, the focus of this play: one conflicting points of view against one woman stops another woman from another,” says director Bowersox. “His committing suicide by throwing herself writing is sparse, direct and remarkably devoid of pretense. Which is why this play is so good. He has a master’s skill with dialogue — he draws you in, involves you, makes you part of the discussion. This play pulls you in viscerally from the first moment.”

“The Sunset Limited” was filmed as a live play in 2011, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. But Bowersox thought the play could be even more powerful with two women in the lead roles. Special permission was obtained from McCarthy tt himself to make the gender flip. hy “He felt the idea had merit,” Bowersox yes. “These are both strongst characters, and seeingse them played as two committed womenw literally dealing in with a question of lifelif and death is very powerful.po And these twotw actresses — who haveha distinguished themselvesthe in many productionshere — are each perfect in the roles they play. I hope people will take the opportunity to see one of the performances.”

Tickets for “The Sunset Limited” — and all Summer Stage events — can be had at theatrexp.ticketleap.com or by calling 302-540-6102. A talkback with the director and cast is slated for immediately following the Sunday, June 9, performance. For more information on all Summer Stage events and theaters, visit keywestsummerstage.com. ¦

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