Stones in His Pockets, the Broadway-bound West End hit, will begin previews at the John Golden Theatre March 23 with an opening April 1. No need for a long period of previews - the two man comedy's stars Conleth Hill and Sean Campion are coming to New York City straight from Toronto, where Stones plays Jan. 9-Feb. 18 at the Winter Garden. Before that, the Irish actors played Stones at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1999, bringing the play to the West End, where it was - and is - a big hit.
Stones tells of Charlie and Jack, two down-on-their-luck Irishmen working as extras on a Hollywood film being shot in the Irish countryside. When the men find themselves dissatisfied with the American look at their culture, they begin to construct the perfect Irish film. Among the characters Hill and Campion portray are Caroline Giovanni, the spoiled and horny American female star; Mickey, the last remaining extra from "The Quiet Man"; and Clem, the hunchbacked director.
The play was inspired by Jones' own experience as an actor in films shot in Ireland, including 1993's “In the Name of the Father,” starring Daniel Day Lewis. Jones' other plays include Women on the Verge of HRT and the sequel Women on the Verge.Get a Life. Her latest play, Ruby, based on the life of Ruby Murray, will open at the Opera House Belfast in October.
Jones and Stones won London's prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy Nov. 27. This is the first time the award for comedy has been given since 1997's prize went to Closer.
Hill and Campion were both unknowns before Stones. Hill appeared in Andrew Hinds' The Starving in 1998 and on "Blue Heaven" in the UK and both performed together in Waiting for Godot in Belfast, but Stones has made both actors into stars. Interestingly, the Broadway run won't be the American premiere for the play. Stones finished off the Magic Theatre in San Francisco's 1998-99 season, replacing the previously announced Quills (which is now a feature film starring Geoffrey Rush). There, the Stones leads were played by Kurt Reinhardt and Mark Phillips.
Before Marie Jones' Stones in His Pockets makes its way to Broadway, the two-man comedy will first make a stop at Toronto's Winter Garden Jan. 9-Feb. 18. The show's original London stars, Conleth Hill and Sean Campion, will travel to Canada for the play's opening there before continuing with the Stones to Broadway.
Tickets to the Toronto engagement went on sale Nov. 20. Priced $52-$35, tickets are on sale at (416) 872-1212 and (800) 461-3333.