Gabriel Bryne to Star in Roundabout's A Touch of the Poet

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) is proud to present Gabriel Byrne as "Cornelius Melody" in a new Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's drama A Touch of the Poet, directed by Doug Hughes at Studio 54 on Broadway (254 West 54th Street). A Touch of the Poet will begin previews Friday, November 11th, 2005 and open officially on Thursday, December 8th, 2005. This is a limited engagement through January 29, 2006.

The cast and creative team will be announced shortly.

Gabriel Byrne (Cornelius Melody) began his acting career with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and subsequently joined the Royal Court and the National Theatre in London. He has starred in 35 films including Miller's Crossing, Cool World, Point of No Return, Little Women, Dead Man, The Usual Suspects, Polish Wedding, Smilla's Sense of Snow, The End of Violence, The Man in the Iron Mask, Stigmata and End of Days. Mr. Byrne last appeared on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's Tony® Award-winning Broadway play A Moon for the Misbegotten. He received a Best Actor Tony® nomination for his portrayal of "James Tyrone, Jr."

A Touch of the Poet premiered on Broadway in 1958 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The last production was staged in 1977 also at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Both productions received Tony® nominations for Best Play and Revival.

Set in a shabby tavern outside Boston in 1828, A Touch of the Poet finds an Irish immigrant who fancies himself as a distinguished gentleman despite all evidence to the contrary. Down-on-his-luck, he finds himself in a quandary when his daughter falls for the son of a wealthy American and he insists on maintaining his European gentility.

Roundabout Theatre Company's last association with Eugene O'Neill, was the 1992/1993 production of Anna Christie starring Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. The production received four Tony® nominations.

Biographies:
Gabriel Byrne (Cornelius Melody) began his acting career with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and subsequently joined the Royal Court and the National Theatre in London. He has starred in 35 films including Miller's Crossing, Cool World, Point of No Return, Little Women, Dead Man, The Usual Suspects, Polish Wedding, Smilla's Sense of Snow, The End of Violence, The Man in the Iron Mask, Stigmata and End of Days. Mr. Byrne last appeared on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's Tony® Award-winning Broadway play A Moon for the Misbegotten. He received a Best Actor Tony® nomination for his portrayal of "James Tyrone, Jr."

Doug Hughes (Director) is returning to The Roundabout where he directed Jon Robin Baitz's The Paris Letter and Stephen Belber's McReele. His Manhattan Theatre Club production of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt is currently running on Broadway at the Walter Kerr. He is the Resident Director at MCC Theater, where he has directed Last Easter, Scattergood, Frozen, Anadrako and The Grey Zone (Obie Award and Drama Desk nomination), co-produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit and received the first-ever MCC Award. Recent work in New York includes Engaged at Theatre for a New Audience; Flesh and Blood (Callaway Award), The Beard of Avon and A Question of Mercy, all at NYTW; Othello (with Keith David and Liev Schreiber) at the Public; John Guare's Lake Hollywood at Signature and An Experiment with An Air Pump for MTC. He has directed five productions for the Guthrie, where he also served as Director of Artistic Planning. Other regional: Seattle Rep (Associate Artistic Director); LaJolla Playhouse; The Shakespeare Theatre in D.C.; London's Bush Theatre; Yale Rep; the Alliance Theatre and the McCarter. For his work on Frozen, Hughes received Tony Award, Lortel and OCC nominations.

EUGENE O'NEILL (Playwright). Born in New York City on October 16, 1888, he was the first great American playwright. His father was James O'Neill, the famous dramatic actor, and during his early years O'Neill often traveled with his parents. Beyond the Horizon (1920), the first of his plays to reach Broadway, won a Pulitzer Prize (he eventually won four) and opened the way for serious theatre in this country. In 1936 he became the only American playwright ever awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His major works include The Emperor Jones (1920); The Hairy Ape (1922); Desire Under the Elms (1924); The Great God Brown (1926); Strange Interlude (1928); Mourning Becomes Electra (1931); Ah, Wilderness! (1933); A Moon for the Misbegotten (1957); Hughie (1964); A Touch of the Poet (1967); and what most authorities consider his two greatest plays, The Iceman Cometh (1939) and Long Day's Journey Into Night, completed in 1941 but unproduced until three years after his death on November 27, 1953.

Ticket & Performance Information: Tickets will be available in Fall 2005. Additional ticket and performance information will be announced shortly.

Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the country's leading not-for-profit theatres. The company contributes invaluably to New York's cultural life by staging the highest quality revivals of classic plays and musicals as well as new plays by established writers. Roundabout consistently partners great artists with great works to bring a fresh and exciting interpretation that makes each production relevant and important to today's audiences.

The 2004-05 season marks an extraordinary time in Roundabout's history. The theatre has finally secured three permanent theatres each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout's mission. The off Broadway home, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre's Laura Pels Theatre with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays while the grandeur of its Broadway home, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.

Roundabout Theatre Company productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. The Westin Hotel is the official hotel of the Roundabout Theatre Company.

www.roundabouttheatre.org

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