The acclaimed production, seen in Ireland and Off-Broadway, is directed by Tony Award winner Garry Hynes (The Beauty Queen of Leenane). The Boston run to Feb. 6 is under the auspices of ArtsEmerson, marking Druid's Boston debut. Subsequent engagements will be hosted by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, MI; Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Chicago, IL; Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, CA; Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA; Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, PA; Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC; and International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, CT.
The American tour — "the longest U.S. tour by an Irish theatre company in Decades" — will present over 100 performances of the award-winning production before the company returns home to stage the play in late June at Galway, Ireland's Town Hall Theatre and on the titular island of Inis Meáin.
The cast of the hope-flecked comedy-drama includes Liam Carney as Babby Bobby, Nancy E. Carroll as Mammy O'Dougal, Ingrid Craigie as Kate, Dermot Crowley as Johnny Pateen Mike, Clare Dunne as Slippy Helen, Laurence Kinlan as Bartley, Dearbhla Molloy as Eileen, Tadhg Murphy as Billy Claven and Paul Vincent O'Connor as Doctor McSharry. Liam Carney, Ingrid Craigie, Clare Dunne, Laurence Kinlan and Tadhg Murphy are appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
The production features set and costume design by Francis O’Connor, lighting design by Davy Cunningham, sound design by John Leonard and music by Colin Towns.
The Cripple of Inishmaan is considered McDonagh's contemporary comic masterpiece "with eccentric island characters trading stories to within an inch of their lives, while young Billy Claven tries to make sense of who he is," according to production notes. "Set in 1934 on the sleepy island of Inishmaan, the Aran Islands are unexpectedly abuzz with the news that Hollywood filmmaker Robert Flaherty will use the neighboring island of Inishmore to film his movie 'Man of Aran,' and, for once, Billy is paying attention." Almost 50,000 people have seen this production during its Irish and U.K. tours, and its sold-out, Off-Broadway engagement in 2008-2009. David Eden Productions is producer of the U.S. tour.
Here are Cripple's coming dates at a glance:
Paramount Theatre at Emerson College, Boston, MA, Feb. 2-6
Eisenhower Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, Feb. 8-12
Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, Ireland, Feb. 21-March 5
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, March 10-13
Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago, IL, March 16-27
Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, April 5-May 1
Cal Performances, Berkeley, CA, May 4-14
Annenberg Center, Philadelphia, PA May 19-22
Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC, May 26-June 2
University Theatre, New Haven, CT, June 15-19
Town Hall, Galway, Ireland, June 22-24
Inis Meain, Ireland, June 26
The tour is part of Imagine Ireland, a year-long season of Irish arts in America in 2011, an initiative of Culture Ireland, with funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Visit www.imagineireland.ie.