Kirby, who portrayed Molly in a U.K. revival last year, succeeds Geraldine Hughes, who departed the cast to be part of the upcoming Broadway production of Jerusalem.
Directed by IRT artistic director Charlotte Moore, the cast of Molly Sweeney also features Tony nominee Jonathan Hogan (As Is, Burn This, Fifth of July) and IRT managing director Ciarán O'Reilly (last seen Off-Broadway in Irish Rep revivals of Candida and Brian Friel's Aristocrats).
The production, which opened Jan. 30 following previews from Jan. 19, had originally been scheduled to run through March 13. Performances will now continue through April 10.
The revival plays the Off-Broadway company's Francis J. Greenburger mainstage. According to Irish Rep notes, "Ireland's master storyteller Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations, Faith Healer and Philadelphia, Here I Come!) has devised a riveting contemporary drama about the terrible consequences of a medical miracle. Molly has sat in happy, capable, independent darkness since she was ten months old. When her husband makes her blindness his latest cause, he consults a once-famous star surgeon who, despite being half drowned in Irish whiskey agrees to attempt to restore Molly's sight. When the bandages come off, remarkable revelations ensue."
Molly Sweeney has set design by Jim Morgan; costume design by Linda Fisher; lighting design by Richard Pilbrow and Michael Gottlieb; and sound design by Zach Williamson. Molly Sweeney opened at the Gate Theatre in 1994, and transferred to the Almeida Theatre in London prior to its original Off-Broadway production in 1996, which earned Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics' awards for best play.
Performances of Molly Sweeney play The Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. The schedule is Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM; plus 3 PM matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $55 and $65, and are available by calling (212) 727-2737 or online at www.irishrep.org.