Last chance to -- as Stephen Sondheim might say -- "have a little priest." Off-Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre will end its summer run of Mass Appeal Sunday, Sept. 7, after 17 previews and 60 regular performances. Bill C. Davis' comedy/drama originally played on Broadway in 1980.
The show is making room for Frank (Angela's Ashes) McCourt's The Irish And How They Got That Way, beginning previews at Irish Rep Sept. 21 for an opening Oct. 2. That show will stars Terry Donnelly, Marion Thomas Griffin (both women), Rusty Magee, Ciaran O'Reilly and Ciaran Sheehan. Designers are Shawn Lewis (set) and David Toser (costumes) (the latter also did the costumes for Mass Appeal).
Mass Appeal is staged by veteran Rep director and actress Charlotte Moore. Tony Coleman and Paul McGrane star as a bibulous elder priest confronted by a young colleague over his rote recitation of the mass. Davis' play began previews June 22 and opened July 9.
Glenn Jordan's 1984 film of Mass Appeal, which starred Zeljko Ivanek and Jack Lemmon, opened up the two-handed chamber piece to add more characters and locations.
Other plays by Davis include Dancing In The End Zone, Wrestlers and Spine, as well as the more recent Avow. Dublin native Coleman appeared in the Gate Theatre's Broadway mounting of Juno And The Paycock, and at Irish Rep in the recent one-acts The Invisible Man and The Nightingale and Not the Lark. Londoner McGrane has many credits at the Royal National Theatre, as well as at the Gate and Abbey Theatres in Ireland. Irish Rep roles include The Plough And The Stars and Da.
Founded in 1988 by Moore and Ciaran O'Reilly, Irish Repertory took a big leap three years ago when they moved into their charming, jewel-box home on West 22nd St. Among their most notable productions have been a Harold Prince-directed Grandchild Of Kings and a Tony Walton directed Importance Of Being Earnest.
For tickets ($25) and information on Mass Appeal call (212) 727 2737.
--By David Lefkowitz