What better better time to announce a Sean O'Casey revival than St. Patrick's Day? The Irish Repertory Theatre, which recently mounted a high-profile Importance Of Being Earnest, directed by famed set designer Tony Walton and starring Eric Stoltz and Melissa Errico, will now turn its sights to the first play the company ever produced: O'Casey's The Plough And The Stars.
Directing this boisterous comedy, set against the tragic background of the 1916 Easter Rebellion, will be Irish Rep artistic director and co-founder Charlotte Moore. Moore's other works with the company include stagings of Da and Juno And The Paycock.
The Plough And The Stars, beginning previews March 25, follows the conversations of ebullient tenement dwellers behaving like children while in the street outside, "men are marching, orators are roaring, soldiers are firing." O'Casey's other plays include The Shadow Of A Gunman, Cock-A Doodle Dandy, Oak Leaves And Lavender, The Silver Tassle and his masterwork, Juno And The Paycock.
Appearing in Plough will be Blythe Baten, Dara Coleman, Terry Donnelly, Louise Favier, Rosemary Fine, Pauline Flanagan, Con Organ, Des Keogh, John Keating, John Leighton, Paul McGrane and Tim Smallwood. Designers for the show are Akira Yoshimura (set), Mirena Rada (costumes), AC Hickox (lighting) and George Zarr (sound).
Irish Repertory, founded in 1988 by Ciaran O'Reilly and Charlotte Moore (their first production was The Plough And The Stars), has also staged Harold Prince's Grandchild Of Kings Gardner McKay's Sea Marks and Donal Donnelly's recent Shaw solo, My Astonishing Self. In other Rep news, the company will offer two one-acts -- The Invisible Man and The Nightingale And Not The Lark, both by Jennifer Johnston, running April 5-May 11. Irish Rep producing director Ciaran O'Reilly will direct the plays, which star WB Brydon and Denis O'Neill (Invisible Man) and Paddy Croft (Nightingale).
For tickets and information on The Plough And The Stars, opening April 3 and running to May 11, call (212) 727-2737.
--By David Lefkowitz