Who: Aedín Moloney of the Irish Repertory Theatre
What: Livestreamed performances adapted for onscreen viewing
Where: Irish Rep onine (link sent after RSVP)
When: Tuesday, June 16, 7:00; Wednesday, June 17, 3:00 & 8:00; Thursday, June 18, 7:00; Friday, June 19, 8:00; Saturday, June 20, 3:00, advance RSVP required (suggested donation $25)
Why: The Irish Rep has become one of the busiest theater companies in New York City during the pandemic, presenting a brand-new coronavirus-related work and hosting the Meet the Makers and The Show Must Go Online series. On May 27 it premiered The Gifts You Gave to the Dark, Darren Murphy’s short, heartbreaking work about a man (Marty Rea) in Belfast with Covid-19 unable to visit his dying mother (Marie Mullen) in Dublin, who is being cared for by her brother (Seán McGinley). Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin, the play gets right to the heart of the crisis as only Irish tales can; it will be available online through October 31.
The Irish Rep now turns its attention to adapting several recent stage productions for the internet, beginning with Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom. The award-winning seventy-five-minute one-woman show, based on James Joyce’s epic Ulysses, was adapted by Aedín Moloney and Colum McCann, directed by Kira Simring, and features music by Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains (and Aedín’s father); it originally ran at the company’s home on West Twenty-Second St. in June and July of last year, with Moloney as Molly Bloom in the early morning hours of June 17, 1904, as she considers love, loneliness, and isolation. The full team has now reimagined the play for onscreen viewing, with Aedín Moloney reprising her role; it will be performed live from June 16 — Bloomsday, when Joyce’s iconic tome takes place — through June 20. Admission is free with advance RSVP, with a suggested donation of $25.
The Irish Rep continues its online foray with “Meet the Maker: Frank McCourt . . . And How He Got That Way: A Conversation with Ellen McCourt and Malachy McCourt” on June 18; “Meet the Maker: Conor McPherson” on July 2; a special gala screening with new video of Frank McCourt’s The Irish . . . and How They Got That Way on July 13; “Meet the Makers: John Douglas Thompson and Obi Abili on Breaking Barriers in Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones” on July 16; Dan Butler, Sean Gormley, John Keating, Tim Ruddy, and Amanda Quaid in an online version of Conor McPherson’s The Weir from July 21 to 25; and a virtual version of Barry Day’s Love, Noël, a musical about Noël Coward starring Steve Ross and KT Sullivan, from August 11 to 15. I’m exhausted just thinking about it, but I can’t wait to be at my computer to experience the joy of live theater, even if it’s through a screen.