A Man of No Importance
Artwork by James McMullan
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Book by Terrence McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater
Address: 150 West 65th Street
September 12, 2002 to December 29, 2002
Running Time: TBA
Playing Schedule: Tues-Sat at 8, Wed & Sat at 2, Sun at 3
Tickets: All seats $70
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Book by :
Music Direction :
William David Brohn & Christopher Jahnke
, Jarlath Conroy
, Luther Creek
, Michele Federer
, James Hindman
, Charles Keating
, Barbara Marineau
, Michael McCormick
, Sean McCourt
, Katherine McGrath
, Jessica Molaskey
, Martin Moran
, Sally Murphy
, Steven Pasquale
, Patti Perkins
, Faith Prince
, Roger Rees
, Barbara Tirrell
, Wayne Wilcox
It's been ten years since we last presented a musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty at Lincoln Center Theater. However, in the intervening time since their delightful show My Favorite Year premiered at the Beaumont, this prolific duo has developed quite a following.
Over the last decade, you may have seen their musicals Seussical or Ragtime—for which they received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards—or the London production of Once On This Island, which won the Olivier Award for Best Musical, or the animated film Anastasia, which garnered two Oscar and two Golden Globe nominations for their songs and score.
This September, they are returning to LCT with A Man of No Importance, a new musical based on the touching 1994 film of the same name. For this new show, Ahrens and Flaherty reunite with their Ragtime collaborator Terrence McNally, who has received four Tony Awards for Ragtime, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class. McNally has long been a favorite of New York theatergoers, and we are delighted he is finally making his LCT debut with this musical.
The idea for the show originated with McNally. "Where the next terrific musical will come from is always a mystery," wrote Peter Marks in the New York Times last April. "But at a time when movie scripts are providing the blueprints for Broadway, what better place to browse than the video store? That, actually, is where Terrence McNally found A Man of No Importance."
"McNally came across the movie in a video store and
the story of a closeted Dublin bus conductor
involved with an amateur theatrical group appealed
to him, so he called Flaherty and Ahrens," wrote
Nelson Pressley in a recent Washington Post feature
on the playwright. "They didn't see quite how
McNally envisioned a musical out of it. Later,
'Terrence wrote some exploratory monologues,' Ahrens
recalls, 'and we said, Oh. We get it."
At the helm of this new musical is the gifted director Joe Mantello, whose many credits include this summer's revival of McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and both the stage and film versions of Love! Valour!..., as well as Design for Living and the long-running Vagina Monologues.
Musical staging for the show is by the rising British choreographer Jonathan Butterell and music direction is by the sterling Ted Sperling. The wonderful designs are by Loy Arcenas (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting) and Scott Lehrer (sound), with terrific orchestrations by William David Brohn & Christopher Jahnke.
The talented cast of 18 is led by Tony winner Roger Rees, whose stage credits include Nicholas Nickleby and Indiscretions in New York, plus many notable productions in London. He is also a familiar presence from TV's "Cheers" and "The West Wing". Rees is joined by a talented ensemble which features Tony winner Faith Prince and Emmy winner Charles Keating, as well as Ronn Caroll, Luther Creek, Michele Federer, James Hindman, Barbara Marineau, Michael McCormick, Katherine McGrath, Jessica Molaskey, Martin Moran, Sally Murphy, Patti Perkins and Brandon Wardell.
The story takes place in dublin in 1964. Alfie Byrne, a middle-aged bachelor living a quiet life with his spinster sister, spends his days as a bus conductor and his nights as a community theater impressario dedicated to the plays of his hero, Oscar Wilde. A modest man, a quiet man, Alfie has always found his greatest satisfaction as the artistic director of the St. Imelda's Players, an amateur theatrical group housed in the local church. When Alfie declares that, instead of their usual production of The Importance of Being Earnest, the troupe will next present Wilde's provocative Salome, the church authorities balk at the play's "immodest dancing" and his safe little world begins to crumble.
After years of sublimation, Alfie finally wakes up to his sexuality and realizes he must take his place in the world. As Wilde declared, "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it." Still a modest man, Alfie Byrne is no longer a quiet man. Some would even say he has become a man of great importance!
Based on the film A Man Of No Importance produced by Little Bird Ltd.
New productions in the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater are supported by AT&T.
Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting new American plays at LCT.
Lincoln Center Theater gratefully acknowledges major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for new play development and production.
This project is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Challenge Program.