"Beowulf," the circa eighth-century English verse epic that is the bane of college students the world over, was reimagined as a rock opera by "Saturday Night Live" musician Lenny Pickett. The IRT staging opened Oct. 16 after previews from Oct. 7. It was previously scheduled to run to Nov. 13.
There will be no performance on Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day.
Directed by artistic director Charlotte Moore, the cast features Richard Barth (in the title role), Denton Carver (replacing Edwin Cahill), David Garry, Bill Daelin Gross, John Halbach, Jay Lusteck, Keith Merrill (replacing Shaun R Parry) and Jack Wadell.
Lenny Pickett is composer and lyricist and Lindsey Turner is lyricist of the new "21st century ritualistic rock opera." Musical direction is by Mark Janus.
* "Fiery dragons, magic swords and severed heads populate this epic sixth century tale of Beowulf; a fierce and romantic young warrior who arrives on a foreign shore seeking to repay its king for saving his father's life," according to the Irish Rep. "This brave and sometimes foolish young prince hopes to return the favor whilst enhancing his reputation and gaining treasure for his king. But first, the demon, Grendel and his monster-woman mother must be challenged and slaughtered! As Beowulf, mortally wounded is sent out to sea in a flaming funeral pyre, we hear the pure tones of a Celtic harpist relating his legend to the ages."
The original text is thought to have been written by a Northumbrian writer, who drew on Scandinavian, Germanic and Christian themes, archetypes and stories.
Set design is by "SNL" production designer Akira Yoshimura, costume design is by Randall Klein, lighting design is by Brian Nason, sound design is by Zachary Williamson, and monsters and puppets are designed by Bob Flanagan.
Performances will be Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8 PM. Matinees are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM.
Tickets are $50 and $45 and can be purchased by calling the Irish Repertory Theatre box office, on West 22nd Street, at (212) 727-2737 or by visiting www.irishrep.org.
Moore is co-founder and artistic director of The Irish Repertory Theatre and most recently adapted and directed Finian's Rainbow and Endgame for its stage.
Ciarán O'Reilly is Irish Rep's producing director, Patrick Kelsey is managing director.