Faith-Less: Hit Friel Revival Ends Broadway Engagement Aug. 13

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13 Aug 2006

Ian McDiarmid in <I>Faith Healer</I>.
Ian McDiarmid in Faith Healer.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Brian Friel's Faith Healer, which didn't last a month when it opened on Broadway in 1979, but had significantly better luck its second time around, will end its run on Aug. 13.

Faith Healer did socko business after netting a bushel of rave reviews upon opening on May 4. The production recouped its entire $2 million investment in just eight weeks.

The revival stars Cherry Jones, Ralph Fiennes and Ian McDiarmid. It began previews at the Booth Theatre on April 18. McDiarmid won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as a seedy, but enthusiastic, small-time talent manager.

The production began at Dublin's Gate Theatre on Feb. 2, under the direction of Jonathan Kent. American actress Jones joined the company for this U.S. engagement of the staging. Fiennes and McDiarmid appeared with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.

The two-act, three-character Faith Healer, comprised of four monologues, centers on Frank Hardy (Fiennes), a supposed traveling faith healer, his long-suffering spouse (Jones) and loyal manager (McDiarmid).



The Northern Ireland-born Friel has also penned The Enemy Within, Philadelphia, Here I Come!, The Loves of Cass McGuire, Lovers, Crystal and Fox, The Mundy Scheme, The Gentle Island, The Freedom of the City, Volunteers, Living Quarters, Aristocrats, Translations, The Communication Cord, Making History, Dancing at Lughnasa, The London Vertigo, Wonderful Tennessee, Molly Sweeney and Give Me Your Answer, Do! His Dancing at Lughnasa won three 1992 Tony Awards including Best Play.

The production is produced by Michael Colgan & Sonia Friedman Productions, The Shubert Organization, Robert Bartner, Roger Berlind, Scott Rudin, and Spring Sirkin.

This new production has set and costume design by Jonathan Fensom, lighting design by Mark Henderson, sound design by Christopher Cronin, video design by Sven Ortel. Jan Grey is the production stage manager. Associate producer is Lauren Doll.

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The original Broadway production of Faith Healer ran for only seven previews and 20 performances in 1979. It starred James Mason, Donal Donelly and Clarissa Kaye. Jose Quintero directed. Since then, the play has come to be regarded as one of Friel's best.