December 2016- January 2017 at Kaye Playhouse, New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players
A new family in Philadelphia
I won't soon forget the incredible artists and humans at the Arden Theatre Co. Can't think of a better community to have tackled this gorgeous and complicated masterpiece with. "To love is to have lived" and boy did I feel the love in Philly.
releasing one's inner puppy
Great reviews and even better turnouts for Marianne Driscoll's hit canine comedy, The Biscuit Club, an irresistible parody piece that I was lucky enough to watch grow from the seedlings of an idea into a hugely successful, masterfully produced work of theatre. I've yet to work with anybody other than passionate, creative, hilarious, and intelligent artists at the cell, and this was no exception. Check out one of my favorite reviews here.
Despite the endless stream of bad news in the media and my borderline radio silence in 2014, I was pretty fortunate to have been a part of developing some cool new plays. I managed slightly more visible recognition via facebook, but I let some projects fall into obscurity, unless you were my mother (hi mom!). This is unforgivable, mainly because the people responsible for bringing these things to life deserve all the recognition they can get, because TALENT and GENIUS. SO, in the spirit of the new year, I would like to pay homage to the work I was so grateful to be a part of this past year, as a thanks to those involved and a recap for those who may have liked to know sooner. Here are a few things I worked on in the latter half of 2014:
as Tom Jones in in Marc Acito and Amy Engelhardt's new musical BASTARD JONES in November
as Ash in NEXT TO HIM by Jessica Moss, part of Tangent Theatre and AboutFACE's NEWvember New Plays Fest!
Special thanks to Kira Simring, Marianne Driscoll, Nancy Manocherian, Paul and Anna Nugent, Michael and Andrea Rhodes, Marc Acito, Amy Engelhardt and all of the actors/ artists I had the pleasure of getting to know and working alongside on these projects. I learned more from these guys than I could have ever hoped. Thanks for keeping it real in 2014 and taking me along for the ride, not to mention pushing me to go beyond myself and do better. Here's to an even better, more frequently updated, 2015!
Impossibly excited to return to the stage with this production. Humbled by the quality of the work on top of the fact that the Hard Times family and the Cell are as good as people get, onstage or off. Come see what the NYT called "a knockout entertainment" and "a public service."
Updates have been pretty much non-existent over the past year, but rest assured it's been a busy one. I figure I'll look on the bright side of this brief hiatus, take advantage of my replenished reserves of time and motivation, and use them for the ever elusive art of *~BLoGgiNg~*. Enter Blog Post: Fall 2013 Roundup- Yesterday's Future Past. Check out the gallery for some pictures from this year's projects, which have included:
My New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players debut in The Mikado at New York City Center in January 2013. I am legitimately overwhelmed by the talent and camaraderie that feed this company's infectious performances. To feel at home among them is inevitable, whoever you may be, audience and actor alike. Cannot wait for the next chance to work with these inspiring performers and genuinely awesome human beings. Their next season opens December 27th, 2013- Check them out! http://nygasp.org/
The New York premiere of Rady & Bloom's Peter/ Wendy (at none other than the cell, my home away from home), an intimate production about Neverland, its legendary perma-child, and the precocious girl who gets caught up in his mommy-complex. Inspired by original JM Barrie text and set to the music of the indie band, The Books, this was a unique experience as ominous as it was whimsical and heartbreaking as it was poignant. The ensemble came to form a bond that I will never forget. Do yourself a favor and peruse Rady&Bloom's website where you'll find more information about their past and upcoming shows and events- Everything they touch turns golden http://www.radyandbloom.com
A new production of Much Ado About Nothing from the premiere company Shakespeare in the Rear. I've been working with these terrific actors for months on better communicating the life in Shakespeare's language and drama under the instruction of the brilliant Tim Eliot. The work culminated in an exciting immersive performance in which the audience and the actors moved together throughout the homey space and gardens of the Cell. The result was a hit, and I have never before seen or performed Shakespeare with clearer vision. These guys are the real deal. Also I urge you to check out the cell theatre's website http://www.thecelltheatre.org/, where pretty much everything is wonderful always. OH, did I mention in this production I also happened to make my songwriting/ guitar performance debut! Well, I did. Sorry, there is no footage. (It's probably for the best).
The New York premiere of the new Irish dance musical McGoldrick's Thread, a production that spilled over with genuine warmth when it wasn't blowing your mind with the talent and enthusiasm of the young dancers in the ensemble. The New York Times praised it for its charm and "simple sweetness," and it never lost its momentum, selling out the entire run and going on to win the award for Best Production in the 1st Irish Theatre Festival. I stood in awe of the talent and passion surrounding me, and I couldn't have been more honored to be a part of the family. Be sure to have your eyes and ears on this one... it's a stunner. More info at the website here- http://www.mcgoldricksthread.com/
The Cell's smash hit HARD TIMES: An American Musical is rounding in for a remount in January of 2014. It's rumored to be brighter, bolder, and more intense than its sold out first run, and I have to say to be able to perform this show again is a DREAM. Just your grade-A, grass-fed organic dream-come-true. I'll be returning in the role of Owen, so book your tickets as soon as you can!
I've been delinquent in my communication on so many levels, but this summer's end and autumn have been the pinnacle of activity in my NYC experience thus far (acting and survival jobs alike), marking my first full year in the city with just enough to show for it, so despite the delay, I thought it was about time to recap all the excitement.
Hard Times was an ever-loving hit, and I know I speak for the team when I say we couldn't have been more thrilled and honored to have nurtured this project from the ground up to such rave reviews. Here are just a few brief highlights of some of the terrific press we received.
New York Times
"Under Kira Simring's sure-handed direction, "Hard Times" bursts with vitality...By the end of the evening, the audience is up, cheering and stamping. In "Hard Times," Mr. Kirwan has not only delivered a knockout entertainment, he's done a public service, reacquainting us with the Foster songbook and the striving, teeming America for which it was written." (Read More)
New York Post
“It bursts with life, thanks to Kira Simring’s inventive staging and the superb singing and dancing performed to the accompaniment of a first rate, five-piece band.” (Read More)
"Music director Andrew Smithson gives vibrancy and power to the score, which combines Foster's classic Americana with Kirwan's modern sensibilities... The small cast infuses their roles with intensity and detail as well as musical muscle."
Theatre Reviews Limited
"Stephen Foster's songs and Larry Kirwan's songs counterpoint each other and create a fugue for freedom and future." (Read More)
I've added some quotes regarding my own performance to the new press page on this website if you have any interest- Fortunately enough for me, there were some good things worth sharing!
Since the close of the show, talks have already been in the works regarding a remount, and we are hoping to develop that more in the spring. Meanwhile, we'll be recording a cast album, and I'll be trying my best to keep the Irish steps fresh in my mind...
The cell theatre has become a second family to me, and I'd be a fool to turn down any opportunity to work with them again. I'm proud to say I'll be continuing my work there in a staged reading this December of a play entitled Cowboys (Straight, Queer, Quixotic, & Otherwise Allegorical) by Michael Marceline.
You can come check it out at one of these 2 dates! Click through for Facebook event info.
Cowboys Friends Festivus Fests I
Cowboys Friends Festivus Fests II
Otherwise I'm working on adding some new photo galleries from my recent role as the Minstrel at the Princeton Music Festival and as Owen in Hard Times. Keep an eye out!
Ah yes, and last but not least, I'm absolutely ecstatic to announce my new status as a proud member of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players!
Catch me in the Mikado in January! See below for world's greatest promo for our upcoming season.
I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be joining the cell theatre in Chelsea for their brand new musical "Hard Times" opening September 13th.
I'll be playing Owen Duignan, a troubled Irish immigrant who works as a performer at a local bar in the Five Points slum of Civil War-Era New York City. I'll also be busting plenty of Irish moves!
The project thus far has been a dream come true in many ways, and I must say this show is not to be missed! I'm surrounded by a wellspring of talent, both in front of and behind the scenes. Come see what these brilliant artists have created!
"Hard Times, a soulful musical of clashing Irish and Afro-American cultures, written by Larry Kirwan of Black 47. Through a re-imagining of Stephen Foster’s songs, Kirwan conjures the hybrid creation of Tap and explores the troubled life of the “father of American Music” against the backdrop of NYC’s Civil War draft riots."
Buy tickets HERE
Find our show on Facebook HERE
Check out the Cell on Facebook HERE
P.S. Summer's almost over, y'all
The Last Rose of Summer- John Charles McLaughlin
Well, guys. I'm officially relocated to Princeton, NJ (and not for graduate school as you may have presumed from my undeniable intellect). Joining what I believe is their seventh summer season this year, I am thrilled to announce that I will be taking on the role of the Minstrel in Princeton Music Festival's production of Once Upon a Mattress!
Be sure to visit their website HERE for all the info.
Once Upon a Mattress Music by Mary Rodgers
Lyrics by Marshall Barer
Book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer
June 15, 16, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 8pm
Sunday matinees - June 17 and 24 at 3pm
Matthews Acting Studio
185 Nassau Street
Hope to see you there!