In the words of Stephen Sondheim, Off-Broadway's Irish Repertory Theatre will 'have a little priest' when it serves up Mass Appeal, Bill C. Davis' comedy/drama that played on Broadway in 1980.
Veteran Rep director and actress Charlotte Moore will stage the piece, about a bibulous elder priest confronted by a young colleague over his rote recitation of the mass. Tony Coleman and Paul McGrane will star in this mounting, which begins previews June 22 and opens July 9.
Designing Mass Appeal will be David Raphel (set), David Toser (costumes), and Greg Cohen (lighting). 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