John Mahoney Will Star in Co-Production of Seafarer in Chicago and L.A.

News   John Mahoney Will Star in Co-Production of Seafarer in Chicago and L.A. John Mahoney, best known for playing Martin Crane on the hit sitcom "Frasier," will play a blind, foul-mouthed drunken Irishman in Conor McPherson's The Seafarer for Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago and the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

John Mahoney
John Mahoney

Conor McPherson's acclaimed London and Broadway play "is a whiskey-laden tale set in the Dublin home of two brothers on Christmas Eve over a poker game with damningly high stakes," according to Geffen, which will present the play April 14-May 24, 2009, after a December 2008 Steppenwolf bow.

Mahoney will star as Richard Harkin, "the mercurial older brother, who despite the fact that he has recently gone blind, feels much more comfortable leaning on a splash of liquor (or two or three…) than anything else."

The Geffen Playhouse's production (opening April 22, 2009) marks the West Coast premiere of McPherson’s 2006 work, which was nominated for four 2008 Tony Awards including Best Play, and will be helmed by Geffen Playhouse artistic director Randall Arney.

Arney, who will be the first director to lead a production other than the playwright himself, will be directing The Seafarer both at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre (where Arney began his career as a company member) as well as at the Geffen Playhouse.

Mahoney currently lives in Chicago. Steppenwolf announced that the Chicago run will also include ensemble members Francis Guinan (August: Osage County), Tom Irwin and Alan Wilder. It runs Dec. 4, 2008-Feb. 8, 2009. To date, Mahoney is the only cast member who will be participating in both productions.

In addition to the director and lead actor, the two productions will share many artistic elements including set design by Takeshi Kata, costume design by Janice Pytel, lighting design by Geffen Playhouse production manager Daniel Ionazzi and sound design by Richard Woodbury.

The Seafarer marks the second time Mahoney will appear at the Geffen Playhouse in a Conor McPherson play, directed by Randall Arney. The team worked together in the playhouse's 2001 acclaimed production of The Weir.

Mahoney, who began his acting career on stage at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in the early '80s, won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor for his role in The House of Blue Leaves. Mahoney's films include "Moonstruck," "Say Anything," "In the Line of Fire" and "Primal Fear." For his role on "Frasier," which began in 1993, he was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Recently, Mahoney has returned to theatre in the Broadway revival of Prelude to a Kiss at the Roundabout Theatre Company and the world premiere of Better Late at the Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL.

For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.com or steppenwolf.org.