Melissa Gilbert Returns to Irish Rep to Lead THE DEAD, 1904

By: Oct. 11, 2018
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The Dead, 1904

Irish Repertory Theatre announces full casting for the return of The Dead, 1904 - an immersive adaptation of James Joyce's classic story, "The Dead," adapted by the Pulitzer Prize winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon (Moy Sand and Gravel) and novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz (Admission, You Should Have Known). Directed by Irish Rep co-founder Ciarán O'Reilly, The Dead, 1904 is returning for a third straight year, this time for eight weeks only. Previews begin November 17, 2018, with opening night set for November 29th, for a limited run through January 13, 2019.

Emmy-nominee Melissa Gilbert ("Little House on the Prairie") will once again lead the cast as "Gretta," and will be joined by Kimberly Doreen Burns (Finian's Rainbow) as "Mary Jane," Ciaran Byrne (The Freedom of the City) as "Freddy Malins," Peter Cormican (Rothschild & Sons) as "Mr. Brown," Rufus Collins (The Royal Family) as "Gabriel," Terry Donnelly (Crackskull Row) as "Mrs. Malins," Meg Hennessy (Closer) as "Lilly," Patricia Kilgarriff (Steel Magnolias) as "Kate Morkan," Robert Mack (Three Mo' Tenors) as "Bartell D'Arcy," Heather Martin Bixler as "Miss Daly," Aedin Moloney (When I was a Girl I used to Scream and Shout) as "Molly Ivors," and Patti Perkins (The Full Monty) as "Aunt Julia."

The Dead, 1904 is staged in the c. 1900 townhouse of The American Irish Historical Society (991 Fifth Avenue, New York) on the Upper East Side for an audience of just 57 people per night. The production travels over three floors of the building, which has been restored to period decoration. Rooms used include the lobby, parlor, dining room and upstairs library.

A holiday meal, inspired by descriptions of the feast in Joyce's story, has been created by Great Performances, one of the city's most celebrated caterers, to be served to cast and audience alike in the townhouse's elegant dining room. Wine, stout, and spirits will be served with the meal.

The menu for?The Dead, 1904,?prepared on-site daily for each show by Great Performances, features: Roast Turkey Breast Stuffed with Sprigs of Parsley & Herbs;?Beef Tenderloin with Fig & Cocoa Glaze; Mashed "Floury" Potatoes;?Cranberry & Pineapple Relish;?Dried Figs; Artisanal?Raisins served on the vine & Smoked Almonds; and Bread & Butter Pudding with Vanilla Custard.


The Dead, 1904 was adapted from the final novella in James Joyce's 1914 short story collection, Dubliners, and tells of a disillusioned man named Gabriel Conroy, who, along with his wife Gretta, attends a holiday party in 1904 Dublin, thrown at the home of his two elderly aunts. Throughout the evening guests sing, dance, eat and drink while outside snow gently falls, and Gabriel and his wife contemplate their pasts, futures, happiness, life and ultimately, death.

production team features costume design by Leon Dobkowski ( Weir), lighting design by Michael Gottlieb ( Home Place), sound design by M. Florian Staab (Curvy Widow), properties & interior design by Deirdre Brennan ( Burial at Thebes), and hair and wigs by Robert-Charles Vallance (Jitney). Choreography is by Barry McNabb (On A Clear Day You Can See Forever), with Stephen Gabis (Present Laughter) serving as dialect consultant and Mark Hartman (Pageant - Musical) as music consultant.

One of the most acclaimed short stories of all time, "The Dead" was previously adapted as a film by John Huston (The Dead, 1987) and as a 1999 Broadway Musical (James Joyce's THE DEAD) which won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. This production is the first immersive adaptation.

Tickets to The Dead, 1904 begin at $150 for performance-only seating, with tickets including dinner and drinks available for $300. Four VIP premium tickets will be available at each performance, allowing audience members to be served dinner at the main table with the cast as they play the dinner scene--a once in a lifetime experience for lovers of immersive theatre and James Joyce. Tickets are available now through Irish Rep's box office by calling 212-727-2737, or online at The Dead, 1904 is also available for group bookings.

In addition, tickets to The Dead, 1904 will be made available for $19.04 exclusively through the TodayTix lottery. TodayTix lottery winners will receive general admission tickets, which include dinner and drinks.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy