The Weir by Conor McPherson
SINCE its debut in the late 1990s playwright Conor McPherson's The Weir has become a repertory regular, and it’s set for another showing at the end of the month at the Irish Repertory Theatre.
Set in a remote country pub in Ireland, the story follows what happens when attractive newcomer Valerie takes up residence and listens attentively to an evening of banter and ghost stories as told by some of the lonely local bachelors.
But along the way what begins as a bit of a joke takes on a much darker tone as the tales grow increasingly serious. Thinking they've unnerved their new blow-in, they are stunned when Valerie reveals a shocking true story of her own.
All of McPherson's preoccupations are in evidence here: missed chances, hauntings, thresholds that tip over directly into the supernatural world, and middle aged Irish men who communicate their feelings through the Morse code of winks, nods, sighs and long silences. The Weir is McPherson's most produced play for good reason because it plays to every one of his strengths.
Irish Rep favorites Sean Gormley, John Keating, and Paul O'Brien will reprise their roles from the critically acclaimed 2013 production. But joining them in the new cast this summer will be Tim Ruddy and Amanda Quaid. The show will run from June 30-Auguest 23.
For tickets call 212-727-2737 or visit www.irishrep.org.
The New York Story, Colin Quinn
IRISH American comedian Colin Quinn deserves every accolade going and he'd be the first to tell you so himself. On Twitter he regularly enrages middle America with inflated boasts about his own brilliance, and more than half of the people who turn up to insult him can't even tell that he's leading them on.
But the country's most accomplished stand-ups are certainly in no doubt about his talent, frequently listing the former Saturday Night Live cast member as one of the most important voice in American comedy. No less a luminary than Jerry Seinfeld will direct Quinn in The New York Story, a new comedy written by and starring Quinn, based on his book The Coloring Book at the Cherry Lane Theatre, beginning July 9 through August 16.
Laugh as Quinn laments the rise and fall of his beleaguered hometown, from its modest beginnings as a Dutch outpost to the hipsters of modern Williamsburg to the foreign oligarchs turning it into an unaffordable walled city.
It's Quinn's long awaited return to the New York stage after his acclaimed off-Broadway show Colin Quinn Unconstitutional and his Broadway run of Long Story Short. “I'm doing this show because I've already covered the world with Long Story Short, the country with Unconstitutional and now the city," Quinn told the press. “I'm working my way down to the most fascinating subject: me!”
That's exactly the kind of crack that infuriates his Twitter followers but delights his clued-in fans. Quinn trolls the hell out of the unsuspecting and manages to say more provocative things about how we live now in one hour than most of his rivals manage in their entire careers. As an undisputed heir to the great George Carlin, Quinn has big shoes to fill and manages effortlessly.
For tickets call 866-811-4111.
The International by Tim Ruddy
ACTOR and playwright Tim Ruddy's remarkably deft drama The International returns for a short run next month, this time at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre on 42nd Street between July 15 and August 2.
Featuring the original cast that made the debut performance so unforgettable, the play is set during an unnamed Bosnia-like conflict in the early 1990s where a UN peacekeeping force utterly fails to prevent a massacre.
You can lose your humanity in an hour and then struggle for the rest of your life to restore it, The International reminds us, and it can happen to nations as well as individuals. The sense of urgency that Ruddy's performers bring to this flawless production is in keeping with the shocking events the play describes.
Ruddy's hard hitting script is one of the most philosophically engaging and accomplished Irish dramas seen in years, and a reminder that more and more Irish actors are turning to playwriting as the kinds of scripts that they wish for are the ones they are writing themselves.
For tickets visit ticketcentral.com.