PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! Kicks Off Asolo Repertory Theatre's 2013-14 Rep Season

PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! Kicks Off Asolo Repertory Theatre's 2013-14 Rep Season

Asolo Repertory Theatre opens its 2013-14 rep season with PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! Directed by Academy Award nominee and two-time Tony Award winner Frank Galati, previews for the show will be held January 7 - 9 and the production will run from January 10 - April 12.

Hailed as one of the best playwright's in the English language, Brian Friel's first great play tells the humorous and touching story of a young man embarking on a new life, struggling to find the strength to leave. As 25-year-old Gareth "Gar" O'Donnell prepares to move from Ballybeg, Ireland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to pursue his American dream, he is plagued by his relationship with his uncommunicative and emotionally unavailable father. Gar must also say goodbye to Kate Doogan - his great love who he regrettably let slip through his fingers. Above all, he is challenged by one simple question - does he truly want to leave his home?

PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! examines the dynamic relationship between Public and Private Gar - played on stage by two different actors. Friel brilliantly pours life into Gar's subconscious in the form of Private Gar, whose character serves as the vehicle for his counterpart's secret insecurities, hopes and dreams. On the eve of Public Gar's departure, he and his spirited alter-ego reminisce about the life and people, from childhood buddies to his beloved family housekeeper, they will have to leave behind.

"This brilliant, touching and funny story is about an Irish boy named Gareth who has immense difficulty expressing himself but must say goodbye to everything and everyone he knows and loves," said Michael Donald Edwards, Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Rep. "For Gar, Philadelphia represents a true opportunity, a new life, and freedom from his very confining world. The play takes place over the course of one day, and in that time we inhabit the Irish cultural universe that Gar will bring to his new American world."

Director Frank Galati injects music and merriment into the production with traditional Irish folk tunes and classical pieces that add to the poetic and theatrical nature of the play.

"Gar's pursuit of the American Dream illuminates the aspirations and sacrifices of millions of immigrants," said Frank Galati. "This tale of longing and hoping for a new life reflects so many of our parents', grandparents' and great grandparents' journeys - generations of people who created the foundation of the American Character."

PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! continues the second season of Asolo Rep's exciting five-year American Character Project, which explores this country's social, cultural and historical facets. Since its 1966 Broadway premiere and subsequent Tony nominations for best play, best actor, and more, this timeless story of voyaging outside of what is familiar and safe continues to impact audiences worldwide. CAST (In order of appearance)
Peggy Roeder*
Christian Conn*
Bernard Balbot*
Douglas Jones*
Amanda Lynn Mullen
Mark Konrad
David Breitbarth*
Jefferson McDonald
Brian Nemiroff+
Cale Haupert
Andrew Sellon* Madge Mulhern
Public Gar
Private Gar
S.B. O'Donnell
Kate Doogan
Senator Doogan
Master Boyle
Canon O'Byrne *Members of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
+Appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. SPECIAL PUBLIC PROGRAMMING

Inside Asolo Rep
Wednesday, January 29 at 11am
Asolo Rep's Cook Theatre

Asolo Rep's Dramaturg and Literary Manager Lauryn Sasso will lead this special, in-depth discussion featuring director Frank Galati and other creative artists from the production. Come get a unique perspective on the making of Asolo Rep's PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME! Tickets for this insightful behind-the-scenes event are $5 for the general public and free for Asolo Rep donors and Guild members and are available at Asolo Rep's Box Office or at

Discussion Series: Connecting Great Artists to Great Audiences

Tuesday Talkbacks: Share an intimate discussion on the themes of the play following Tuesday night performances.

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