Theatre review: The Cripple of Inishmaan

Go see THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN on Broadway!  If you require more than just my word that it’s a fantastic show, keep reading.

Set on the island of Inishmaan in 1934, this poignant play makes you laugh, cry, and contemplate not only the actions of the characters but your own as well.  As this small village must face their own flaws and struggles, both internal and external, the audience reflects upon their own.  All of the above is possible due to a seamless blend of gifted actors, a talented playwright, and thought-provoking direction.  Let’s look deeper at each, shall we?

ACTING:  Each and every one of the performers who grace the “Inishmaan” stage at the Cort Theatre embody complexity, comedic excellence, and heartfelt performances.  From Broadway newcomers to veteran stage actors, this cast shines individually and as a team. One moment you’re laughing and the next you’re moved to tears.  The gifted acting ensemble weave in and out of comedy and drama with ease, giving their characters dimension and authenticity.  I applaud them all and with pride I list them here – DANIEL RADCLIFFE, INGRID CRAIGIE, PÁDRAIC DELANEY, SARAH GREENE, GILLIAN HANNA, GARY LILBURN, CONOR MacNEILL, PAT SHORTT, JUNE WATSON, HELEN CESPEDES, LESLIE LYLES, AIDAN REDMOND, and JOSH SALT.

WRITING: The talented cast may be the “face” of the play, but Martin McDonagh provided them with richly-layered dialogue and flawed yet immensely human characters from which to work with.  At times he takes you right to edge of offense only to interlace the darkness with witty humor and a reminder that we may not understand the characters’ choices/actions but perhaps have made similar ones ourselves.

DIRECTION:  Taking McDonagh’s words and entrusting them to a talented ensemble of actors, Michael Grandage guides us on a journey we won’t soon forget.  Each action has meaning, purpose, intention.  Every pause adds dimension to an already layered piece.  He’s created an environment where the performers and story are equally impressive.  One can not excel without the other.  He’s to be commended for creating a piece of theatre that will stay with you long after the curtain falls and the house empties.

Experience the multi-faceted dimensions of THE CRIPPLE OF  INISHMAAN sooner rather than later as it’s only at the Cort Theatre for a 14 week engagement.  You’ll be “cow”-ting your blessings that you did! (Wink, wink,  nudge, nudge for those of you who’ve already seen it.)

Please visit their website and connect through social media.

*No endorsement by those involved with THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN intended or implied.*

Champion the Arts

Sports fans wear the jerseys of their favorite players, assemble fantasy leagues, and paint their faces to show their team pride.  They can spout off trivia facts and engage in passionate “discussions” as to the success and failures of their hometown teams.

Sports vs arts

A similar group of individuals exist in the entertainment industry.  We can list off random facts about our favorite actor, actress, writer or director.  We write letters of support or complaint to media outlets and/or the particular interested parties.  And like our athletic counterparts, we have in-depth “discussions” about our favorite moments.  Or more precise…we disagree about which character should be romantically paired with another.

We look forward to our favorite TV shows as much as a football fan readies for Sunday night.  While our sporting counterparts gather with friends and family to drink beer, eat wings, and scream at the referees, we take to the internet to re-hash the positives and negatives of the prior night’s episode.

We watch the special features to learn about the casting process, the set design choices, and the adaptation from book/stage to screen.  We read interviews from the screenwriter to gain insight into the finished work he/she created.  We stand at the stage door after a theatrical performance just to get a picture, signature or to manage an “I loved it!”  We find inspiration and motivation from those who’ve chosen the entertainment industry as their mode of creative expression.

While some of us may yearn to one day play a role in front of or behind the camera, there are just as many who merely want to show their appreciation for a job well done.  Who want to say “Thank You” for creating something that made a difference in their lives.  For giving us an opportunity to look at our life from a different point of view.  To pause and reflect upon the choices we’ve made and to perhaps reconsider a path we were headed towards.

So while my friends and family may plan for the big play-off party I’ll be waiting with excitement for the upcoming entertainment award show season.  May the best team win!