Melissa Errico-Led FINIAN'S RAINBOW Headlines Irish Rep's 2016 Season

Melissa Errico-Led FINIAN'S RAINBOW Headlines Irish Rep's 2016 Season

Irish Repertory Theatre has announced its Fall 2016 Season. On the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage will be FINIAN'S RAINBOW, adapted and directed by Irish Rep Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, and starring Melissa Errico ("Billions", Encores! Do I Hear A Waltz?), who will reprise her role from the acclaimed 2004 production.

Irish Rep will also present the New York premiere of Tony Award-winner Brian Friel's AFTERPLAY, directed by Joe Dowling (Tartuffe) in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theater, and the World Premiere of THE PIGEON IN THE Taj Mahal, by Laoisa Sexton (The Last Days of Cleopatra), starring Sexton and John Keating (The Weir, "Boardwalk Empire"), and directed by Alan Cox (Black Snow), also in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theater. Full casting and creative teams will be announced at a later date.

Melissa Errico-Led FINIAN'S RAINBOW Headlines Irish Rep's 2016 SeasonFollowing Irish Rep's successful concert revival of FINIAN'S RAINBOW at Town Hall in June, the beloved musical will return to the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage this fall, twelve years after they first revived the musical to great acclaim. Tony nominee Melissa Errico (Amour) will reprise her role as "Sharon", following her recent performance in Encores! Do I Hear A Waltz? and her highly acclaimed performance in Stephen Sondheim's Passion. Irish Rep Artistic Director Charlotte Moore directs.The groundbreaking 1947 musical FINIAN'S RAINBOW follows an Irishman who steals a feisty leprechaun's pot of gold and escapes with his daughter, Sharon, to Missitucky, a mythical region in the United States that is part of the Jim Crow South. The daughter and the sprite each find romance with others, but also encounter bigotry, economic disparity and cultural injustice. The score is spiked with such popular show tunes as "Old Devil Moon," "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" and "Look to the Rainbow," plus spicy comic and satiric songs such as "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love," and "When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich." FINIAN'S RAINBOW begins performances on the Francis J. Greenburger Mainstage on October 26, and opens November 6 for a limited engagement through December 18.

The New York Premiere of AFTERPLAY by Tony Award winner Brian Friel will reunite Dermot Crowley and Dearbhla Molloy, who appeared in Irish Rep's Give Me Your Hand in 2012. This one act play centers on two characters from Chekhov (Sonya Serebriakova from Uncle Vanya and Andrey Prozorov from Three Sisters) meeting in a café in Moscow in the 1920s. Joe Dowling, former artistic director of The Guthrie Theater, will direct. AFTERPLAY begins previews in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theater on September 22 and officially opens on September 29, for a limited engagement through November 6.

THE PIGEON IN THE Taj Mahal, by Laoisa Sexton, is a story about trying to get home. In the West of Ireland, a lonely outsider is forced to live on an abandoned campsite on the barren outskirts of a seaside town. But late one night, when a lost bachelorette party discover his caravan, he finds his whole existence challenged and his home life threatened. During this long night of reckoning, amongst the glitter and the grime, a battle for survival ensues, but in these few hours can tender love save us all? Worlds collide in this darkly funny pressure cooker of a play about how we live now. The World Premiere of THE PIGEON IN THE Taj Mahal, directed by Alan Cox (Black Snow), will star Laoisa Sexton and John Keating ("Boardwalk Empire") and begins previews in the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theater on November 16 and opens on November 27 for a limited engagement through December 31.

The performance schedule for FINIAN'S RAINBOW and THE PIGEON IN THE Taj Mahal will be as follows: Wednesdays at 3pm and 8pm; Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 3pm.

The performance schedule for AFTERPLAY will be as follows: Tuesdays at 7pm; Wednesdays at 3pm and 8pm; Thursdays at7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 3pm.

Tickets to FINIAN'S RAINBOW range from $50.00 - $70.00, with tickets to AFTERPLAY and THE PIGEON IN THE Taj Mahal available for $50.00. Tickets to all three productions are on sale now through Irish Rep's box office by calling 212-727-2737, or online at www.irishrep.org.

The only full-time producer of Irish theater in the U.S., Irish Repertory Theatre returns to its home base in Chelsea, located in the Stanwick Building at 132 West 22nd Street, after an extensive 18-month renovation. The spatial quality and acoustics of the theater will be dramatically improved, to reinforce the high caliber of Irish Rep's programming, while maintaining the intimate experience that is its signature.

A grand re-opening of Irish Repertory Theatre is planned for September 2016, when the theater will be fully programmed on both the main stage and the W. Scott McLucas Studio Theater on the lower level.

Currently playing on the Irish Rep Mainstage is the US premiere of the Abbey Theatre's production of QUIETLY. Written by Owen McCafferty and directed by Jimmy Fay, QUIETLY is presented in association with The Public Theater, and began previews on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, and opened Thursday, July 28, 2016. QUIETLY was recently extended through Sunday, September 25th, 2016.

AFTERPLAY ARTISTS:

Brian Friel (Playwright) is widely recognized as one of the greatest contemporary dramatists writing in the English language. A prolific writer, who produced more than 30 plays in a career spanning six decades, his best-known works were Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964),The Freedom of the City (1973), Aristocrats (1979) Faith Healer (1979), Translations (1980) Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) Molly Sweeney(1993), Give Me Your Answer Do (1997) and The Home Place (2005). In these and other plays he showed a fascination with pushing the boundaries of theatrical possibility. Friel once wrote: "For me the true gift of theatre, the real benediction of all art, is the ringing bell which reverberates quietly and persistently in the head long after the curtain has come down and the audience has gone home."

Joe Dowling (Director) Joe Dowling joined The Abbey Theatre in 1967 as a member of the Acting Company. In 1970 he co-founded The Young Abbey, Ireland's first theatre-in-education group, and three years later he became artistic director of the Peacock Theatre. In 1976 he was appointed artistic director of the national touring company, the Irish Theatre Company. He became the youngest-ever Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre in 1978. His tenure is particularly remembered for the encouragement and development of new plays and young playwrights. After leaving the Abbey in 1985, Joe became Managing and Artistic Director of The Gaiety Theatre. In 1986, he founded and was the first director of The Gaiety School of Acting,.

In 1995, he was appointed as artistic director of The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. During his twenty years as director of this prestigious American theatre, he directed more than 50 productions, including the American premiere of Brian Friel's The Home Place in 2007, and his signature production of A Midsummer Night's Dream presented in 1997, 2008 and 2015. In 2009 Joe both directed and starred in Brian Friel's play Faith Healer. His final production at The Guthrie in June 2015 was Sean O Casey's Juno and the Paycock starring Anita Reeves, Stephen Brennan and Dearbhla Molloy. Under Joe's leadership, in June 2006 the Guthrie Theater opened its new three theatre complex on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This complex, which Time Magazine called "a 21st-century dream factory", has allowed the Guthrie to broaden its repertoire and provide audiences with a range of presentations in all three dynamic spaces. The potential of the new complex was fully realized with the Tony Kushner Celebration, for which all three theatres were devoted to the works of Kushner, including a Guthrie-commissioned new play, Kushner's first since 2002. Joe holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the National University of Ireland as well as Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from The University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, St. Johns University in Collegeville, Minnesota, St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Gonzaga University, Washington. Among his numerous other awards Mr. Dowling is the recipient of the 2006 Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Vision.

FINIAN'S RAINBOW ARTISTS:

Charlotte Moore (Director) Recent directing assignments include Da, Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory, and Juno and the Paycock. New York stage appearances include Major Barbara, A Perfect Ganesh, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Perfect Party, Morning's at Seven, Private Lives (with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), and many performances with the New York Shakespeare Festival. Ms. Moore has directed all of the Annual Broadway Benefit Galas. She has received two Tony Award nominations, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Drama League Award, the Irish America Top 100 Irish Award, The Eugene O'Neill Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2008 Irish Women Of The Year Award. She is the recipient of the St. Patrick's Committee in Holyoke's John F. Kennedy National Award, and has thrice been listed as one of the "Top 50 Power Women" in Irish America Magazine. Charlotte was named "Director of the Year" by The Wall Street Journal in 2011.

Melissa Errico (Sharon) Tony-nominee Melissa Errico has established herself as a Broadway star, film and television actress, recording artist and writer. She has starred in seven Broadway musicals including My Fair Lady, High Society and Amour; and released several solo CDs including her debut Blue Like That (EMI/Capitol Records), Lullabies and Wildflowers (VMG/Universal), Legrand Affair (Ghostlight/Sony) and the most recent (2015) What About Today? Melissa Errico Live at 54 Below (Broadway Records) which was followed immediately by a DVD. She has starred in non-musical roles in plays by Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Wally Shawn, as well as in front of the camera in the network TV series "Central Park West" written by Darren Star, and more. In the last two seasons, she played the recurring roles "Catherine" on Stephen Soderbergh's "The Knick" for Cinemax and "June" on "Billions" for Showtime. Melissa has collaborated with Stephen Sondheim beginning with an acclaimed revival of Sunday In The Park With George at The Kennedy Center in which she played Dot/Marie, followed by Clara in the smash hit John Doyle production of Passion for which she was nominated for a sixth Drama Desk Award. Her most recent acclaimed turn was as Leona in the 2016 Encores! production of Do I Hear A Waltz? Twitter: @melissa_errico

THE PIGEON IN THE Taj Mahal ARTISTS:

Laoisa Sexton (Playwright) is an actress and playwright from Ireland. Her debut play, For Love, premiered at The Irish Repertory Theatre and was a New York Times Critics' Pick. The play went on to tour six theaters across Ireland and was critically acclaimed. The UK Times wrote: "The production comes with a purpose, certainly, but it doesn't sacrifice drama. Moreover, it represents a change of pace for the stage. It might reflect a form of female emancipation, but it is pro-active in the liberation of theatre." Her second play, the semi-autobiographical The Last Days of Cleopatra, based around the events of her mother's death, premiered in New York in 2014 and was also a New York Times Critics' Pick. The play was recently produced in Canada and won two awards at the Milwaukee Irish Play Festival. It's set to receive it's Irish/European premiere in Dublin in the new year. She is working on getting her fourth play produced: Ave Maria, Blessed Art thou Amongst Women. As an actress, Laoisa has appeared in theatre, film and TV in the US, UK and Ireland. Some highlights include Oh The Power, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Long Day's Journey into Night, directed by Joe Dowling. Laoisa won the Best Actress Award for her role in The Prophet of Monto, directed by Des Kennedy (Harry Potter). She recently appeared in the TV series "Red Rock" for TV3/ BBC UK.

Alan Cox (Director) Alan Cox trained at LAMDA. On leaving drama school he spent several years as an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and the Chichester Festival Theatre. In the US he has toured in The Caretaker, Frost/Nixon, and appeared on Broadway in Translations (MTC). For Brits Off Broadway at 59E59 he has appeared in City Stories, Playing With Grown Ups and Cornelius. Other recent acting work includes: Opening Skinner's Box (Improbable), The Divided Laing (Arcola), Kingmaker (Arts Theatre), The Seagull(Culture Project, NYC), The Tempest (Jericho House), Behind the Eye (Cincinnati Playhouse), and Passion Play (Goodman). Film and TV work includes: The Dictator, Contagion, August, The Auteur Theory, Mrs. Dalloway, An Awfully Big Adventure, Young Sherlock Holmes, "A Voyage Around My Father," "The Odyssey," "Midsomer Murders," "Not Only But Always," "Housewife 49," "Custer's Last Battle," "John Adams," "Margaret," "Lucan," and "The Good Wife." Directing credits include: Black Snow (Moscow Arts Studio), A Cloud in Trousers(Udderbelly), Flanders Mare (Sound Theatre), Dirty Fan Male (Gilded Balloon), The Riot Act (Gate Theatre) and A&R (Theatre 503).

IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE, co-founded by Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, opened its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars. The Irish Rep is currently the only year-round theatre company in New York City devoted to bringing Irish and Irish American works to the stage. Recognized with the Jujamcyn Theatres Award, a special Drama Desk Award for "Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama," an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Achievement, and the Lucille Lortel Award for "Outstanding Body of Work," the Irish Rep has celebrated the very best in Irish theatre for over twenty-five years, from the masters to the new generation of Irish and Irish American writers who are transforming the stage. Nearly 38,000 Audience members annually attend productions at our theatre located in the heart of New York's Off Broadway community. Once here, they witness the Irish Rep's engaging perspective on the Irish and their unique contributions to the world of drama.

Photo of Melissa Errico by Jessica Fallon Gordon

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