Following a record-breaking tour of Ireland and Europe, Improbable Frequency, the production began previews Nov. 28 and will continue through Jan. 4, 2009. The New York production marks the U.S. debut of Dublin's Rough Magic Theatre Company.
Rough Magic artistic director Lynne Parke stages the musical that has book and lyrics by Arthur Riordan and music by Bell Helicopter. The Irish cast, backed by a live onstage band of six, includes Sarah-Jane Drummey, Peter Hanly, Darragh Kelly, Louis Lovett, Marty Rea and Cathy White.
Press notes for Improbable Frequency state, "While war rages across Europe, Dublin revels in its knife-edge neutrality as the fledgling Irish Free State tries to remain open for business. A hotbed of political and cultural bohemians, the city is host to a volatile mixture of exiled intellectuals, literary bar-lizards, British spies and Nazi sympathizers. When coded messages, broadcast during an Irish radio-requests show, draw the attention of the British, a young code breaker called Tristram Faraday is sent across the Irish Sea to investigate. His enquiries lead him into a series of deeply improbable encounters, where the truth is more improbable than anyone could have imagined."
The design team includes Alan Farquharson (set design), Kathy Strachan (costume design), Sinéad Mckenna (lighting design) and Bell Helicopter (sound design). Morgan Cooke serves as musical director.