American Classic, Peg O' My Heart, Reinvented as New Musical in NYC, Opening May 22

News   American Classic, Peg O' My Heart, Reinvented as New Musical in NYC, Opening May 22 Romance, melodrama and music mix on the Irish Repertory Theatre's new musical adaptation of the American stage classic, Peg O' My Heart, opening Off-Broadway May 22.
Kathleen Early as the title character in Peg O' My Heart.
Kathleen Early as the title character in Peg O' My Heart. (Photo by Carol Rosegg)

The refreshed version of J. Hartley Manners' 1912 play has original songs and direction by Irish Rep's artistic director, Charlotte Moore. In the classic, which ran 603 performances in its original run, with a young Laurette Taylor in the title role, poor and orphaned Irish girl Peg moves in with unloving relatives, the Chichesters, who warm to her over time. Romantic complications ensue, and a surprise benefactor arrives before the curtain falls.

The three-act comedy was originally produced by Oliver Morosco at the Cort Theatre, and was said to have had eight road companies at once.

Previews for this new staging began May 13 at the Irish Rep, and performances continue to July 6.

The cast includes Kathleen Early as Peg, with Jody Madaras, Jonathan Hadley, Melissa Hart, Rita Harvey, J. Kennedy, Don Sparks and James A. Stephens.

Musical arrangements and direction are by Eddie Guttman. Designers are James Morgan (set), David Toser (costume), Mary Jo Dondlinger (lighting), Zachary Williamson (sound) and Robert-Charles Vallance (hair).

The play falls into the company's mandate because actor and dramatist J. Hartley Manners was born to Irish parents in London on August 10, 1870. Manners was married to Laurette Taylor, the original Peg.

Peg O' My Heart plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 PM. Tickets are $35-$40. The Irish Repertory Theatre is at 132 W. 22nd St. For information, call (212) 727-2737 or visit www.irishrep.org.