The production made its world premiere at London's Bush Theatre, had a sold-out run at Scotland's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and opened the Civic Theatre in Dublin's suburb of Tallaght, the playwright's own hometown. Now, Mark O'Rowe's Howie the Rookie is set to close its scheduled New York City run Jan. 27.
After making its American premiere Jan. 3 at Performance Space 122, the production is heading off to San Francisco's Magic Theatre for a Feb. 2-25 run. The director of the original production, Mike Bradwell, helms the original cast of Aidan Kelly and Karl Shiels for this production as well.
The story follows "the Howie Lee" (Kelly) and "the Rookie Lee" (Shiels) in their intertwining plotlines. Set in the savage streets of Dublin, these two blue-collar men get caught up in gang feuds and the like. Their lives cross paths until ultimately their tales culminate with one being the hero of the other's story.
Es Devlin designs the Bush Theatre production with lighting design by Simon Bennison. The Bush, founded in 1972, was a starting point for many new playwrights, among them are Tony Kushner (Angels in America), Sharman MacDonald (When I was a Girl I Used to Scream), Jonathan Harvey (Beautiful Thing) and Conor McPherson (The Weir).
Howie the Rookie plays at P.S. 122, 150 First Ave (at 9th Street), through Jan. 27. For reservations or more info, call (212) 477-5288 or visit www.ps122.org. For information about the Magic Theatre production in San Francisco, visit www.magictheatre.org.
— by Ernio Hernandez