Cripple Is Atlantic's Biggest Hit; Irish Staging Preserved in Lincoln Center Archive

News   Cripple Is Atlantic's Biggest Hit; Irish Staging Preserved in Lincoln Center Archive The twice-extended Off-Broadway run of Martin McDonagh's dark comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan, a collaboration between Atlantic Theater Company and Ireland's Druid troupe, will end as scheduled March 14, but it will live on.
The Cripple of Inishmaan stars Aaron Monaghan and Kerry Condon
The Cripple of Inishmaan stars Aaron Monaghan and Kerry Condon Photo by Keith Pattison

The production was documented for the Lincoln Center Theater on Film and Tape archive (a rare honor for an Off-Broadway work). The final March 14 matinee and evening performances are sold out.

The staging — featuring the earlier Druid cast, which performed in Galway and the U.K. and includes Tony Award winner Marie Mullen (The Beauty Queen of Leenane) — is the best-selling production with the highest attendance ever for an Atlantic Theater Company production, a spokesman said.

Directed by Tony Award winner Garry Hynes (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), the production began previews Dec. 9, 2008, and opened to critical praise on Dec. 21. The limited engagement was originally scheduled through Feb. 1, 2009. It was first extended four weeks through March 1, 2009, then got two more weeks added.

The celebrated Irish and American cast features Kerry Condon (HBO's "Rome"), Andrew Connolly (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), Laurence Kinlan, Tony Award nominee Dearbhla Molloy (Dancing at Lughnasa), Aaron Monaghan (Abbey Theatre's Romeo & Juliet), Patricia O'Connell (Waiting in the Wings), David Pearse and John C. Vennema (The Ride Down Mt. Morgan).

Set in 1934 on an island off the west coast of Ireland, the play is about Hollywood filmmaker Robert Flaherty's arrival on the neighboring island of Inishmore to film his movie "The Man of Aran." "Excitement ripples through the sleepy community of Inishmaan," according to the Atlantic. "For orphaned Billy Claven, who has been relentlessly scorned by the island's inhabitants, the film represents an escape from the poverty of his existence. He vies for a part in the film, and to everyone's surprise, it is the cripple who gets his chance." This production marks the third collaboration between Atlantic and McDonagh following the company's critically acclaimed American premiere production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, which transferred to Broadway and received five 2006 Tony Award nominations, including Best Play. Atlantic and Druid previously collaborated on the world premiere of McDonagh's hit play The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which transferred to Broadway and won four 1998 Tony Awards.

The creative team includes scenic and costume design by Francis O'Connor, lighting design by Davy Cunningham, sound design by John Leonard and original music composed by Colin Towns.

The Atlantic mainstage is the Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.

Visit www.atlantictheater.org.

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For the record, when its final extension was announced, the production was mentioned as ending March 15. That was later adjusted to March 14.

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