Man and Superman, With Brian Murray, Janie Brookshire, Max Gordon Moore, Opens Off-Broadway
By Kenneth Jones
Irish Repertory Theatre and Gingold Theatrical Group open a co-production of George Bernard Shaw's complete four-act Man and Superman — his 1903 comedy set in England, Spain and Hell — on May 6 at Irish Rep's Off-Broadway home on West 22nd Street. Tony Award nominee Brian Murray is among cast members.
The production began previews April 26. It's directed and adapted by David Staller, curator of the monthly Manhattan reading series Project Shaw.
The play is performed with its rarely utilized philosophical "dream act" known as Don Juan in Hell, which is usually cut in production.
The play about Jack Tanner's determination to not marry his ward, Ann Whitefield — and how she pursues him, even to Hell, in the famous fantasy sequence — features Janie Brookshire as Ann, Will Bradley as Octavius, Jonathan Hammond as Mendoza, Laurie Kennedy as Mrs. Whitefield, Max Gordon Moore as Jack, Paul O'Brien as Malone, Margaret Robinson as Violet, Brian Sgambati as Straker, Zachary Spicer as Hector and Tony Award nominee Brian Murray (a veteran of Irish Rep's Candida, Gaslight, Long Day's Journey Into Night and Da) as Ramsden, Ann's second guardian.
Man and Superman's production team includes set designer James Noone; lighting designer Kirk Bookman; costume designer Theresa Squire; sound designer M. Florian Staab; and hair and wig designer Robert-Charles Vallance.
Production stage manager is Elis C. Arroyo. Assistant stage manager is Arthur Atkinson.
Performances of Man and Superman — billed as New York's first production in 25 years — play to June 17 at The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 W. 22nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues) 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 irishrep.org.
This production is part of GTG's larger vision of the new festival called "Shaw New York," running this spring at various venues in Manhattan; more details about the planned annual festival will be announced. The festival will include a Shaw Symposium featuring critics, academics and actors discussing the play; as well as concerts featuring music Shaw had championed as "modern music" while he was a music critic (Brahms, Wagner, Bartok, Dvorak, etc.); and a reading of one of GTG's commissioned new plays. For more information, visit projectshaw.com.
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