TheatreWorks New Milford to Open THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN, 9/20
On Friday, September 20, TheatreWorks New Milford will present the black Irish comedy THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN, by Tony Award-nominated playwright and Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin McDonagh ("In Bruges," "Seven Psychopaths"). The curtain goes up at 8:00 p.m. for a four-week run.
Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland in 1934, THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN is a strange comic tale in the great tradition of Irish storytelling. As word arrives on Inishmaan that the Hollywood director Robert Flaherty is coming to the neighboring island of Inishmore to film "Man of Aran," the one person who wants to be in the film more that anybody is young Cripple Billy, a boy whose chief occupation has been gazing at cows and yearning for a girl who wants no part of him. Filled with a cast of extraordinary characters and unexpected plot turns, THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN promises to take the audience along on Cripple Billy's crazy journey of hope and discovery.
"Irish humor is legendary and Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh, director and author of the films 'In Bruges' and 'Seven Psychopaths' has single-handedly taken it to a contemporary level with CRIPPLE," said director Richard Pettibone of New Milford. "As such, this play is very cinematic in nature. We mounted Mr. McDonagh's 'Leenane Trilogy' here form 2002 to 2004, and all three productions were wildly popular, I think in part, because McDonagh is able to make us laugh - loudly - at things we know we shouldn't."
"Watching a McDonagh play is like being on a rollercoaster," said producer and TheatreWorks president Glenn R. Couture of Ansonia. "It's truly thrilling. In this production, you're exposed to a wonderful cast of nine seemingly 'small-minded' characters, but McDonagh then upsets our expectations through a series of clever turns, callbacks, and reveals. There are touching moments and many others which already have audience members laughing so hard they can't stop. I can't stress it strongly enough that this is truly a 'must-see' show."
The production features some of the region's finest actors: Keir Hansen (Barkhamsted), Frank Arcaro (Roxbury), Tom Libonate (Danbury), Ellen Burnett (Sherman), and Ali Bernhardt, James Hipp, Joe Russo, Susan Pettibone, and Sonnie Osborne (all New Milford).
Besides Pettibone and Couture, the show's production crew includes costumer Lesley Neilson-Bowman, sound designer Tom Libonate, technical director Scott Wyshynski, and stage manager Kathy Bolster. Mr. Pettibone also handled set and lighting design.
THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN was first performed at the Royal National Theatre on December 12, 1996, making its New York premiere at The Joseph Papp Public Theater on March 17, 1998. A revival in London's West End, starring Daniel Radcliffe of 'Harry Potter' fame, just closed last month after rave reviews and months of sold-out houses. The New York Times said of the play "Mr. McDonagh has again created characters for whom the line between cruelty and kindness is slender...the script features some unsettlingly surprising demonstrations of both affection and aggression."
THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN runs September 20,21 27,28 October 4,5,6 11,12. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee on October 6. Tickets for all shows are $23 for reserved seating.
On Thursday, September 19, senior citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. is TheatreWorks' Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, you name the price for your ticket.