Tony Winner Naughton to Star in Irish Rep's Master Builder

News   Tony Winner Naughton to Star in Irish Rep's Master Builder
 
As previously announced, the Irish Repertory Theatre will open its 2008-09 season with the world premiere of Tony Award-winning playwright Frank McGuinness' adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's 1892 classic, The Master Builder, beginning Oct. 10.
James Naughton
James Naughton Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Heading the cast will be two-time Tony Award winner James Naughton. He will be joined onstage by Charlotte Parry, Letitia Lange, Kristin Griffith, Daniel Cameron Talbott, Herb Foster and Doug Stender.

The drama, opening Off-Broadway Oct. 23 after previews, was commissioned by the Irish Rep and will be directed by the troupe's producing director Ciaran O'Reilly.

Past adaptations of Ibsen's work by McGuinness have received acclaim, including a Tony Award for Best Revival in 1997 for A Doll's House.

In the classic, according to Irish Rep, "Halvard Solness, a successful architect and builder in a small Norwegian town has mercilessly dominated his employees and his wife, Aline. Hilde Wangel, a vivacious young woman arrives unannounced. Hilde has idolized Solness for ten years, since in the early stages of his career, when he built a large church in her hometown and heroically climbed to the top of the tower to celebrate its dedication. The architect's presence had a profound effect on the young girl of 12 when he promised to return and, 'build her a kingdom.' Today, the ten years are up and Hilde has come to reap what he has sown."

James Naughton won Tony Awards for his performances in City of Angels and the revival of Chicago and a MAC Award for his cabaret evening, "James Naughton: Street of Dreams." He directed the Broadway revivals of Our Town and The Price, and his screen credits include "Brooklyn Bridge," "The Cosby Mysteries," "Ally McBeal," "The Devil Wears Prada," "The Good Mother," "The Glass Menagerie" and "The Paper Chase." Frank McGuinness was born in Buncrana, County Donegal, and now lives in Dublin and lectures in English at University College, Dublin. His plays include The Factory Girls, Baglady, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Innocence, Carthaginians, Mary and Lizzie, The Bread Man, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, The Bird Sanctuary, Dolly West's Kitchen and Gates of Gold. His translations include Ibsen's Rosmersholm, Lorca's Yerma, Peer Gynt, Chekhov's Three Sisters, Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, Hedda Gabler (Roundabout Theatre, Broadway, 1994), Uncle Vanya, A Doll's House, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Sophocles' Electra, Ovstrovsky's The Storm, Miss Julie, Euripides' Hecuba, his adaptation of Du Maurier's Rebecca, and his version of Phaedra.

His latest play There Came a Gypsy Riding was produced by the Almeida Theatre in 2007.

Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen — considered the father of modern Western drama for his psychologically rich and socially relevant plays — wrote The Pillars of Society (1877), A Doll House (1879), Ghosts (1881), An Enemy of the People (1882), The Wild Duck (1884), Hedda Gabler (1890) and The Master Builder (1892), among other plays.

O'Reilly most recently directed Prisoner of the Crown, Sive, Defender of the Faith, The Hairy Ape (Drama Desk nomination), The Field, Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Drama Desk nomination), and The Irish Rep original, The Bells of Christmas.

Show times are Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM with matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM.

Tickets, priced $55 and $60, are available by calling (212) 727-2737. The Irish Repertory Theatre is located at 132 West 22nd Street in Manhattan.

For more information, visit irishrep.org.

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