His next challenge may be his greatest, however, when Murray stars in Long Day's Journey Into Night at the Irish Repertory Theatre, now in previews for a Mar. 22 opening. As reported in the NY Times (Feb. 13), Murray will co-star opposite Frances Sternhagen (The Heiress).
According to spokesperson Candi Adams (of James LL Morrison Associates), also in the cast are Paul McGrane (Edmond), Rosemary Fine (the maid), and Paul Carlin (Jamie). The latter is Sternhagen's real-life son.
Charlotte Moore, Irish Rep's artistic director, will stage Journey, which features the design team Akira Yoshimura (set), Linda Fisher (costumes), Gregory Cohen (lighting).
Playwright Eugene O'Neill will soon be represented on Broadway by a revival of Ah, Wilderness!. Other plays include Hughie and Mourning Becomes Electra.
Tickets ($30-$35) to Long Day's Journey Into Night are on sale now at (212) 727-2733.
In other Irish Rep news, the company's current mainstage show, Song At Sunset, ends its scheduled run Feb. 15. Niall Buggy stars in this one man tribute to Sean O'Casey, written by the playwright's daugter, Shivaun O'Casey. The show premiered at the Glasgow Theatre Festival and went on to Belfast's Lyric Theatre and London's Hampstead Theatres.
O'Casey the younger used tape recordings, unpublished articles and letters, songs and plays to weave this biographical tapestry of her dad, whose own plays include Juno And The Paycock, Shadow Of A Gunman and The Plough And The Stars. Ms. O'Casey has directed frequently for the Dublin theatre company named after her illustrious father.
Said Shivaun of her dad's tape recordings, "He was then clinically blind, and these recordings were a way of stopping him straining his eyes to read - willing himself to see the print. I wanted to include as much colloquial speech as I could."
An Abbey Theatre veteran, Buggy received a Drama Desk nomination for his work in Brian Friel's Aristocrats at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Song At Sunset began previews Jan. 16 and opened Jan. 22.
Founded in 1988 by Moore and Ciaran O'Reilly, Irish Repertory Theatre 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, the Walton-directed Importance Of Being Earnest, and Brian Murray starring in Da.
The play was read at Broadway's Golden Theatre in May 1997 as a fundraiser for Irish Rep, featuring Peter Gallagher, Eric Stoltz, folksinger Tommy Makem.
For information on the Irish Repertory Theatre season call (212) 727- 2737.
-- By David Lefkowitz