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Mr. Dooley's America Runs at Irish Rep, Aug. 10-Sept 10

The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd Street) will present Philip Dunne and Martin Blaine's Mr. Dooley's America, based on the newspaper articles of Peter Finley Dunne.  Directed by Charlotte Moore, the show will begin previews on August 10, open on August 16, and continue through September 10.

"At the turn of the last century, the newspaper column of Peter Finley Dunne-written as the fictional Irish Pub owner, Mr. Dooley- was a national sensation. Appearing in almost every major newspaper, Mr. Dooley's 'everyman' take on political and social issues of the day, spiced with his sly humor and political acumen, made Dunne- or rather, Dooley- a household name.  His syndicated sayings were read aloud at Cabinet meetings of three Presidents, as well as at millions of breakfast tables. In Mr. Dooley's America, we visit Dooley in his tavern as he espouses the same wit and wisdom that rings as true today as it did 100 years ago.  And joining Dooley for a drink and a bit of debate is the character of Peter Finley Dunne himself," state press notes. 

The play, which has been adapted from Dunne's articles by Dunne and Martin Blaine, will star former Abbey Theatre Artistic Director Vincent Dowling and Irish
stage star Des Keogh.

Dunne was born in 1908 in New York City. After leaving Harvard University for a brief stint on Wall Street, he headed to Hollywood in 1930 where he became a screenwriter and later a director and producer. His many screen credits include How Green Was My Valley (preserved in the Library of Congress's Film Registry as a national treasure), The Count of Monte Christo, The Last of the Mohicans, Stanley and Livingston, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Luck of the Irish, Pinky, Prince of Players, Ten North Frederick, and Blue Denim.

During WWII he served as chief of motion picture production for the Office of War
information.  Dunne was instrumental in founding the Writers' Guild, and, with directors William Wyler and John Huston, founded the Committee for the First Amendment to oppose the Hollywood blacklist. He received the Writers' Guild's two highest honors, the Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Valentine Davies Award for Public Service, and is the first screenwriter to be honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. In addition to his work in film and politics, he published two books: his highly acclaimed memoirs, Take Two, a Life in Movies and Politics, and Mr. Dooley Remembers, the informal memoirs of Finley Peter Dunne.  He died in 1992, at his home in Malibu, California, where he and his wife, former actress Amanda Duff, raised their three daughters.

Well-respected actor Martin Blaine enjoyed a long career that began on Broadway, where he appeared in Summer Nights, and The Man Who Killed Lincoln, moved to Hollywood where he played in a number of films, including The Fortune Cookie, as well as in many classic TV productions, like "Hogan's Heroes" and "Bonanza."  Blaine teamed up with Dunne to bring a stage actor's perspective to Mr. Dooley's America, and was working on the production when he was killed in an automobile accident in 1989.

The show will feature set design is by Charlie Corcoran, costume design is by David Toser, and lighting design is by Renee Molina.

In the past eighteen years, The Irish Repertory Theatre has presented major works by O'Casey, Synge, Shaw, and Wilde, as well as the contemporary artistry of Hugh Leonard, Frank McCourt, Tom Murphy, Brian Friel and more.  The Irish Repertory Theatre received the 2005 Lucille Lortel "Outstanding Body of Work" award and won the New York Drama Desk Award for "Excellence in Presenting Distinguished Irish Drama."  In 1995, The Irish Repertory Theatre moved to its present location on West 22nd Street, New York City.  It is currently undertaking a capital campaign to purchase its theatre, rehearsal studio, and administrative offices.

Performances of Mr. Dooley's America are Tuesday – Saturday at 8 PM.  Matinees are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $55 and $50 and can be purchased by calling The Irish Repertory Theatre Box Office at (212) 727-2737.  For more information, call (212) 727-2737 or visit

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