Saturday, March 29, 2008

Award-Winning Band of Players Moves To Port Authority

The Atlantic Theater Company, the Off-Broadway company that first produced the 2007 Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening, recently announced the cast for its production of Conor McPherson's Port Authority. The limited engagement will feature Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James, Tony winner John Gallagher, Jr. and Olivier winner Jim Norton.

The play has been penned by one of today's most celebrated playwrights, currently represented on Broadway with The Seafarer. Should this multi-generational play make a move to Broadway, it will be sans James, who (now officially) will be playing the title role in November's much-anticipated Shrek (guess that rumor was true).

I saw Brian in last season's The Apple Tree but look forward to seeing him in a play. I'm sure his performances in Inishmore or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels outshone his turn at the Roundabout. However, I fault the material, not him. I think he's a solid performer and I am highly anticipating his performances in both Port Authority and Shrek.

A similar anticipation holds true for Johnny. I look forward to seeing him in a play since I've seen him only in a musical environment: Spring Awakening, Old Springs Pike or with Joe Iconis. While he did flex his acting muscles a bit in Spring, I look forward to seeing him in a role where his entire focus is on the acting. I missed his turn in Rabbit Hole (or any of the other Lindsay-Abaire he did for that matter). Plus, after he left Spring to be in The Starry Messenger, which subsequently fell through, I'm glad to see him back on stage.

I've never seen Jim Norton perform but he's an Olivier Award winner with clear ties to the playwright. I would imagine there is a lot of trust in that relationship and that there is a reason he shows up in McPherson's plays.

I predict that this will be a riveting evening of theatre. If any of the names associated with this project are remotely tempting to you, I would suggest you get your tickets now as the theatre is small and tickets seem to be going quickly.


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