"Thirst" - by Ronán Noone - Lyric Stage Company (Boston, MA.) - REVIEW

(Cover Photo: Kate Fitzgerald as "Cathleen Mullin" and Aimee Doherty as "Bridget Conroy" in a scene from "THIRST" by Ronán Noone, now playing at the Lyric Stage in Boston, MA. until March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Mark S. Howard)

By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

# 774-242-6724   

“Silence. I've noticed it's very hard to find that with Irish people."

                                                - ("Jack") / Ronán Noone

Lyric Stage Company

Presents Ronán Noone's


Written by Ronán Noone

Directed by Courtney O'Connor° 

Cast Includes: Aimee Doherty* as "Bridget Conroy," Kate Fitzgerald as "Cathleen Mullin," Michael Kaye* as "Jack" 

Additional Creative Team:

Scenic Design - Janie E. Howland**; Lighting Design - Karen Perlow**; Costume Design - Mikayla Reid; Sound Design - David Remedios**; Props Artisan - Lauren Corcuera; Production Stage Manager - Thomas M. Kauffmann*; Assistant Stage Manager - Emma J. Hunt; Assistant Director - Grace Cutler; Audio Supervisor - Sean Doyle; Dialect Coach - Rebecca Gibel; Head Electrician - Gabriel Goldman; Wardrobe Supervisor - Joseph Pisano. 

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States 

** Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829 of the IATSE

° Stage Directors and Choreographers Society   


February 23, 2024 through March 17, 2024

(Contact Box Office for Exact Times) 

LYRIC STAGE OF BOSTON, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116


Contact the Box Office at # 617-585-5678 or go to lyricstage.com



Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information.

The Lyric Stage Company has staged the touching drama "THIRST" and, for those eager for great theatre, many should find this latest production invigorating.

In Ronán Noone's three-person two-act story, there is a connection to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill and his autobiographical "Long Day’s Journey Into Night." 

According to a press release from the Lyric, although he penned close to 60 plays, two of O'Neill's most notable plays are "The Iceman Cometh" from 1939 and "Long Day’s Journey Into Night" from 1941 and first produced in 1956.

From the latter O'Neill classic, we once again find ourselves back in the Tyrone’s summer home in New London, CT. circa 1912

However, what we witness in "THIRST" takes place at a different location within the family home, specifically in the kitchen.

(Photo: Michael Kaye as "Jack" and Aimee Doherty as "Bridget" in a scene from "THIRST" by Ronán Noone, now playing at the Lyric Stage in Boston, MA. until March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Mark S. Howard)

At lights up, serving as a sort of prologue to the story, we see Bridget (Aimee Doherty), the family's cook, stumbling into the Tyrone's kitchen drunk, aided by the kindly family chauffeur, Jack (Michael Kaye). 

The next morning, the story truly begins as we find the seriously hungover Bridget trying to prepare the Tyrone family's breakfast as Jack returns to tell her of her overindulgence from the previous night.

Enter Bridget’s niece and housemaid, Cathleen (Kate Fitzgerald), a budding actress reciting lines from Shakespeare’s "Tempest."

Jack returns and tells her how he is meeting with a Mr. Prendergast in the afternoon about a potential investment opportunity for a car service business of which Jack wants to get in on the ground floor. 

O’Neill is considered by some to be “the Father of American drama” and won the Nobel Prize for Literature

However, with "Long Day’s Journey Into Night" he brought us into how he saw his own family, in a dramatization (using the fictitious name "Tyrone" instead). 

O’Neill’s play briefly included an appearance by Cathleen and had mentions of a never seen cook and chauffeur. 

(Photo: Kate Fitzgerald as "Cathleen" in a scene from "THIRST" by Ronán Noone, now playing at the Lyric Stage in Boston, MA. until March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Mark S. Howard)

From Noone's impeccably crafted script, as expertly staged by director Courtney O'Connor, the above trio takes on a whole new dimension becoming truly complete characters, with full backstories, existing parallel to the characters and events of the O'Neill drama.

While minor plot elements from O’Neill's play may intersect, they are only done so as allusions and never interfere, keeping "THIRST" unique unto itself.

In a marvelously layered performance by Doherty as "Bridget," her character vacillates between a bitter drunk and a stern, Irish taskmaster, stoically ruling "her" kitchen and, by extension, ruling anyone who steps into that kitchen.

By the way, the "circa 1912 kitchen" set for this show is fantastic, with functional appliances reflective of the era. There is also "running water" not up against the back wall but in an actual sink all the way forward, to about midway center stage. An impressive feat of engineering. 

Also, the smell of breakfast cooking on the antique stove will have many people (well, breakfast lovers like me, anyway) salivating, for sure.

But back to our story...

(Photo: Aimee Doherty as "Bridget" in a scene from "THIRST" by Ronán Noone, now playing at the Lyric Stage in Boston, MA. until March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Mark S. Howard)

Cathleen is able to freely admit to Bridget that she loves her, but Bridget seems unable to reciprocate, afraid it might show a weakness of character. 

Yet, Bridget does also, albeit rarely, display a tender side, occasionally showing her niece Cathleen some fondness, such as showing her a small sewing box that Bridget's mother gave to her before she immigrated to America from Ireland

As the ambitious young Cathleen, Kate Fitzgerald is absolutely vibrant and defiant, especially as she butts heads with Bridget, a defiance she might have obtained having just survived a voyage on the ill-fated Titanic.

Cathleen also plans to return home to Ireland and to her awaiting fiancé. 

As the story unfolds, the above by Cathleen may sting a little bit for Bridget as we learn her own reason for coming to America, the sacrifices made, and a revelation in the form of a promise Bridget made to God

The above also impacts Jack, as portrayed in a brilliantly empathetic performance by Michael Kaye, because Jack has obvious affections for Bridget and, once again, she cannot reciprocate.

(Photo: Kate Fitzgerald as "Cathleen" and Aimee Doherty as "Bridget" in a scene from "THIRST" by Ronán Noone, now playing at the Lyric Stage in Boston, MA. until March 17, 2024. Photo Credit Mark S. Howard)

Throughout "THIRST," there are humorous moments, gut wrenching moments, soul searching moments, somber moments, tender moments and moments where choices need to be made.

These three souls soon realize they are all they have to lean on as the Tyrone family deals with their own struggles on the other side of the kitchen walls.  

Whether or not this realization ultimately brings about any comfort for Bridget, Cathleen or Jack remains to be seen. 

Yet, thanks to Noone's exceptional script and equally praiseworthy performances, we find ourselves caring very deeply as to what ultimately happens to each of them.

"THIRST" continues at the Lyric Stage until March 17th, 2024 and for those dehydrated and in need of some refreshing theatre, this production will certainly quench that thirst. 

Flying in next to the Lyric Stage Company in April, 2024 will be the delightful musical, "THE DROWSY CHAPERONE" by Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison, Bob Martin & Don McKellar.

For more information or tickets, contact the Lyric Stage Box Office at # 617-585-5678 or go to lyricstage.com 

Approximately two hours, 15 minutes including one intermission

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) 




Two Irish immigrant women search for love, serenity, and a place to call “home” in Ronán Noone's "THIRST" - an impassioned, heartfelt drama.

There’s a whole other story unraveling on the other side of the kitchen wall of Eugene O’Neill’s "Long Day’s Journey Into Night." 

Two Irish immigrants - a disappointed cook whose shuttered heart only blooms when she has a bottle in her hand and a vibrant young maid who survived a trip on the Titanic - pass the day amid their gloomy daily chores alongside a resilient American chauffeur with a troubled past. 

As tensions rise, high-spirited humor and harsh cynicism boil over as the trio confront abandoned dreams and heart-breaking misfortunes. 

Underneath it all, hope is not as far away as it seems.


Founded in 1974 and in residence at 140 Clarendon Street since 1991, THE LYRIC STAGE OF BOSTON is Boston’s oldest resident theatre company. Our mission is to produce and present live theatre in Greater Boston with an intimate approach that promotes inclusivity and connection. THE LYRIC STAGE leads an effort to integrate live theater and theater education into the lives of all residents of greater Boston.


140 Clarendon Street

Boston, MA. 02116

BOX OFFICE: 617-585-5678

WEBSITE: www.lyricstage.com