Friel's Tale of a Family in Decline, Aristocrats, Opens Jan. 25 in Manhattan

News   Friel's Tale of a Family in Decline, Aristocrats, Opens Jan. 25 in Manhattan The Irish Repertory Theatre's new production of Brian Friel's 1979 play, Aristocrats, about an Irish family whose fortunes have fallen, opens Jan. 25 after previews from Jan. 16 in New York City.

The cast features Orlagh Cassidy, Rufus Collins, Sean Gormley, Lynn Hawley, John Keating, Laura Odeh, Ciarán O'Reilly and Geddeth Smith. Irish Rep artistic director Charlotte Moore directs the production at the troupe's home at 132 W. 22nd Street.

Performances play to March 8.

According to Irish Rep notes, "One of the most distinctive voices in contemporary Irish theatre, master storyteller Brian Friel is at the top of his form with this touching story of a once powerful and aristocratic family in its days of decline. In the author's most Chekovian play, he examines the Ballybeg 'Big House' both in its remembered heyday and in the era of a heartbreaking social change. Dark memories invade the family gathered for the wedding of the youngest sister as the family tries to escape the seriousness of their situation and the difficult life that awaits each of them as they follow separate paths. Glorious Chopin melodies accompany the memories of the past and the realities of the present as the language flirts with lyricism and skepticism…"

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Friel, born in Omagh, County Tyrone in 1929, has published two collections of short stories, "A Saucer of Larks" and "The Gold in the Sea." In 1980 he co-founded the Field Day Theatre Company in Derry. His plays include Philadelphia, Here I Come!; Translations; Dancing at Lughnasa; and more. Moore's creative team includes set designer James Morgan, costume designer Linda Fisher, lighting designer Brian Nasson, sound designer Zachary Williamson, wig and hair designer Robert-Charles Vallance, stage manager Pamela Brusoski and assistant stage manager Janice M. Brandine.

Performances play Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM with matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM.

Ticket prices are $65 and $55. Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 727-2737 or at the box office prior to each performance.

For more information visit www.irishrep.org.

Ciaran O'Reilly and Orlagh Cassidy in <i>Aristocrats</i>
Ciaran O'Reilly and Orlagh Cassidy in Aristocrats Photo by Carol Rosegg
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