Last week we saw a special preview of the
Irish Repertory Theatre
's production of
The Dead, 1904
. This is truly an
This a strictly limited run production, and each performance is limited to 40 audience members, so it will be an incredibly hard ticket: it means that only 2,000 people
in toto will be able to enjoy this extraordinary theatrical treat...so act fast! Because it will sell out so quickly, I am going to provide ticket information before even describing the play:
THIS CO-PRODUCTION IS A SPECIAL LIMITED RUN ENGAGEMENT
Only 2000 tickets will be sold
All tickets include the performance, gourmet holiday dinner, wine, stout and spirits.
General Admission: $300
Premium Seating (located at the main dining table with the performers) Preview Performances: $500, Regular Performances: $1000
The performance runs two hours, inclusive of dinner and has no intermission.
The Dead, 1904 is also available for group bookings.
Please Note: member discounts are not eligible for this special engagement.
Tuesday at 7:00
Wednesday at 8:00
Thursday at 7:00
Friday at 8:00
Saturday at 5 & 8:30
Sunday at 7:00
December 8, 2016
New Year's Eve Revel:
8:30pm performance on December 31st
Based on the short story, "
The Dead," by
James Joyce (last story in his book,
The Dubliners), this adaptation for the stage by Pulitzer Prize winning poet,
Paul Muldoon and his wife, novelist
Jean Hanff Korelitz, captures both the power and the subtlety of
Joyce's transfixing story. It is wonderfully directed by
" takes place at a dinner party in Dublin in 1904, and the play is staged as an annual Epiphany dinner party that the audience is attending, given by two elderly sisters, Aunts Julia (
) and Kate Morkan (
) and their niece Mary Jane (
). I am usually turned off by audience participation theater, but both Nancy and I absolutely adored
The Dead, 1904
, and it was different from any other such "immersion" theatrical experience we had ever seen. There was nothing hokey or contrived about this production--and nothing that one as an audience member is required to do: the story is about a dinner party, and you simply are a guest at that party. It is set in the beautiful
American Irish Historical Society
building on Fifth Avenue in the 80s--the perfect setting for this story. You are greeted in the entrance hall by the maid, Lily (played by
), who leads you upstairs to the salon, where, during the cocktails before dinner, you are offered drinks, and mingle with the actors, in character, who engage with you in occasional small talk . The action begins to take place around you as the actor/guests arrive. Eventually you are invited into the dining room for dinner, where you actually eat dinner with the actors, as the action of the play continues. For the final emotional climax of the story, you are led upstairs to the bedroom to witness the interaction between the main character, Gabriel (the nephew of the two Morkan sisters, his mother being the deceased third sister; played by the extremely talented
) and his wife, Gretta (
). From start to finish, the play works seamlessly with you as audience member being a part of it.
Boyd Gaines is able to create wordlessly in the beginning of the final scene the incredible sexual energy and tension
Joyce described in his story, which is so essential to providing the background for the intensity of the other emotions that are revealed as the scene progresses through to its surprising and existentially profound conclusion. The entire cast is marvelous; and the play is intelligently conceived, effectively staged and directed, and flawlessly executed. (Even some of the necessary changes from the book--
e.g., the shift of the final bedroom scene from a hotel to the Morkan's upstairs bedroom--are done in ways that add to rather than detract from the movement and the sense of
Joyce's original story.)
This is truly an extraordinary theatrical event, so I suggest you jump on the possibility as quickly as possible. It is an expensive evening, however, so you might try to get in on the special reduced-price ticket lottery.
We should not even have been aware of this gem had we not been invited to a special performance hosted by dear friends of ours. Other than the fact that all the audience were also "friends who knew each other and had been invited to this dinner party--and the fact that I'm sure the sherry and whiskey that were served for cocktails, the fine wines served at the dinner, and the port served after the meal are almost certainly not the standard fare for normal evenings of the show--it was a standard performance...but the "standard" is quite exceptional!
From the website:
Dot Dot Productions in association with the American Irish Historical Society
presents The Irish Repertory Theatre's production
Gather with James Joyce's immortal characters in 1904 Dublin for a captivating evening of music, food and epiphany.
based on the novella by James Joyce
adapted by Paul Muldoon & Jean Hanff Korelitz
directed by Ciarán O'Reilly
starring Kate Burton, Boyd Gaines,
Aedin Moloney, Peter Cormican, Barrie Kreinik, Terry Donnelly, James Russell, Clare O'Malley, Heather Martin Bixler, Patti Perkins, Karl Scully, Patricia Kilgarriff
November 19- January 7, 2017
Directly across Fifth Avenue from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
James Joyce's novella, "The Dead," describes a holiday gathering on January 6,1904, the Feast of the Epiphany, in the Dublin home of two elderly sisters, Kate and Julia Morkan, and their niece, Mary Jane. At the party are students, friends, a celebrated tenor, a lost alcoholic, and the couple, Gabriel and Gretta Conroy. Over the course of an evening, there are conversations, music, dancing and dining. There are speeches and disagreements - polite and impolite - and when it is all over Gabriel learns something about his wife that changes his sense of who she is and who they are to each other, of what it actually means to be alive, and to be dead.
is a new adaptation in which an audience of 40 guests will themselves attend the Misses Morkan's holiday party, move from room to room with the actors, listen to the music, watch the dances, dine on a meal inspired by the menu in the novella, and observe the characters in their interactions. The production will take place in an authentic Victorian mansion, perfectly evoking the atmosphere of the story.
At each performance, premium ticket holders will be seated with the actors, to truly experience the famous dinner scene from within. Special New Year's Eve and Feast of the Epiphany performances will provide an extraordinary special observance of these holidays.
This exquisite theatrical recreation of James Joyce's haunting story is likely to be one of the most sought after theater events of New York's 2016 holiday season.
For questions regarding venue accessibility, please call The American Irish Historical Society at 212-288-2263 prior to purchasing your ticket.
"A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935)