The American tour — "the longest U.S. tour by an Irish theatre company in Decades" — will present over 100 performances of the award-winning production before the company returns home to stage the play in late June at Galway, Ireland's Town Hall Theatre and on the titular island of Inis Meáin.
Here is a look at cast and guests at the Los Angeles opening:
The acclaimed production, seen in Ireland and Off-Broadway, is directed by Tony Award winner Garry Hynes (The Beauty Queen of Leenane). The cast of the hope-flecked comedy-drama includes Liam Carney as Babby Bobby, Nancy E. Carroll as Mammy O'Dougal, Ingrid Craigie as Kate, Dermot Crowley as Johnny Pateen Mike, Clare Dunne as Slippy Helen, Laurence Kinlan as Bartley, Dearbhla Molloy as Eileen, Tadhg Murphy as Billy Claven and Paul Vincent O'Connor as Doctor McSharry. Liam Carney, Ingrid Craigie, Clare Dunne, Laurence Kinlan and Tadhg Murphy are appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
The Cripple of Inishmaan is considered McDonagh's contemporary comic masterpiece "with eccentric island characters trading stories to within an inch of their lives, while young Billy Claven tries to make sense of who he is," according to production notes. "Set in 1934 on the sleepy island of Inishmaan, the Aran Islands are unexpectedly abuzz with the news that Hollywood filmmaker Robert Flaherty will use the neighboring island of Inishmore to film his movie 'Man of Aran,' and, for once, Billy is paying attention."
Here are Cripple's coming dates at a glance:
Cal Performances, Berkeley, CA, May 4-14
Annenberg Center, Philadelphia, PA May 19-22
Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC, May 26-June 2
University Theatre, New Haven, CT, June 15-19
Town Hall, Galway, Ireland, June 22-24
Inis Meain, Ireland, June 26
The tour is part of Imagine Ireland, a year-long season of Irish arts in America in 2011, an initiative of Culture Ireland, with funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Visit www.imagineireland.ie.