He was the only one of the four nominated cast-members in The Beauty Queen of Leenane not to win a Tony, but he may get the biggest prize of all: another show to do right after Leenane. The Daily News reports Brian F. O'Byrne has been cast in another Martin McDonagh play, The Lonesome West, to open on Broadway this spring.
A Boneau/Bryan-Brown spokesperson for the show (reached March 2) could not confirm any casting for Lonesome West except to say that an announcement was expected in a week or two.
Steven Levy and Randall L. Wreghitt are producing The Lonesome West -- part of McDonagh's "Leenane" trilogy -- on Broadway just before the season ends. Previews start Apr. 19. McDonagh's drama would have to open on or before Apr. 28 to qualify for this year's Tonys; Lonesome will open Apr. 27.
No theatre has yet been named, but it's expected that McDonagh's play will wind up at the Lyceum after Night Must Fall closes, April 18. (That troubled revival recently postponed its opening night due to a major cast change, causing speculation that poor reception may cause Night to fall even earlier than intended. A Night spokesperson said, however, that the play was scheduled for an eight-week run, ending Apr. 18.)
Two of the prolific McDonagh's plays have thus far made the trip across the Atlantic. The Beauty Queen of Leenane debuted at the Atlantic Theatre Company in early 1998 and quickly transferred to Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre. Nominated for a best play Tony (Art won), the show did capture several acting Tonys and a win for Irish director Garry Hynes, who will also stage Lonesome West. She had already staged West in London back in 1997 with her Druid Theatre Company. Wreghitt told the New York Times he hoped to bring several cast-members from that production to America, pending Actors' Equity approval. The designers for Beauty Queen will also take part in West: Francis O'Connor (sets/costumes) and Ben Ormerod (lighting).
McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan opened with less success in the spring of 1998 at the Public Theatre. That play, like Leenane, is starting to receive numerous regional productions.
Lonesome West is part of the playwright's "Leenane" trilogy, which also includes A Skull in Connemara. According to the Boneau/Bryan Brown press office, Lonesome West studies bickering brothers who spar over everything "from snack foods to hairstyles." Into this maelstrom step a tough but lovestruck teen and a lonely priest who tries to make peace.