Love letter to Irish-American culture serves as fond farewell in advance of organization’s move to state-of-the-art new facility
ALBANY – It’s an exciting time at Capital Repertory Theatre (theREP), as the organization prepares for the highly anticipated move into its new location – a state of the art theatre and community event facility at 251 North Pearl Street. However, theREP first must say goodbye to its current home of nearly 40 years. With that in mind, its final production in the space, The Irish… And How They Got That Way, serves as the perfect sendoff – an Irish Wake of sorts for those looking to celebrate the building’s history, as well as look forward to theREP’s bright future.
Featuring the razor sharp wit and bitter irony of writer Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes), The Irish… And How They Got That Way offers audiences a musical chronicle of the Irish and their journey to and within America. A buoyant score, complete with fresh arrangements of over thirty songs ranging from classics to contemporary favorites, provides a lively backdrop for the festivities. The show’s cast perform each song live, with the actors taking duties on several musical instruments.
The play transforms theREP’s stage into an Irish pub, complete with a working bar patrons are welcome to take advantage of before the show and during intermission. Show posters and mementos from previous productions at theREP decorate the space, allowing revelers to quite literally raise a glass to the storied theatre’s past.
“I knew we had to see this building off in style, and The Irish… And How They Got That Way allows us to do just that,” says Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, Producing Artistic Director at theREP and the play’s director. “This show is not only a love letter to Irish culture and a fascinating look at the immigrant experience in our country, but it’s also a party complete with story, song, drink and laughter! We look forward to welcoming our friends, new and old, to celebrate this momentous occasion with us and enjoy this fantastic show.”
Best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir, Angela’s Ashes, writer Frank McCourt draws heavily on his Irish heritage, childhood in Limerick and personal immigrant experience for The Irish… And How They Got That Way. A beloved teacher in several New York City schools for nearly 30 years, McCourt’s work has also earned him a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Booker Prize.
The ensemble cast features several familiar faces making their returns to theREP, including Kevin McGuire, Patrick John Moran, Emily Mikesell, Josh D. Smith and Caronline Whelehan. Lauren Wright rounds out the cast in her debut at theREP, and also serves as the production’s dance captain.
Director Mancinelli-Cahill helms the production, along with a creative team featuring choreographer Freddy Ramirez, musical director Josh D. Smith, set designer Brian Prather, costume designer Miranda Kau Giurleo, lighting designer Travis McHale, sound designer Rider Q. Stanton, projection designer Nathan W. Scheuer, casting director Stephanie Klapper and stage managers Jessie Jardon and Laura Crawford.
Previews for The Irish take place March 6-8. Opening night is Tuesday, March 10. Regular performances continue through Sunday, April 5. Performance times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday—with matinees 3 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; and 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 18. Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany. Tickets range from $27–$62. Students with valid ID: $16 all shows. For tickets and information, call Tickets by Proctors, 518.445.SHOW (7469) or visit capitalrep.org.
Special Events include:
Opening Night – Tuesday March 10
Featuring post-show desserts provided by Bella Napoli and a champagne or ginger-ale toast with the cast and crew
Chef’s Table – Tuesday March 17
Featuring light bites provided by The Bishop beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Irish Dance Demonstration – Friday March 20
Featuring a performance from Bethlehem Traditional Irish Dance beginning at 6:30 p.m.
ASL Performance – Saturday March 21, 3 p.m.
This performance will feature a sign language interpreter. To request access to this section, please call our box office at 518.346.6204
Post-Show Discussion– Wednesday March 25
Featuring a post-show discussion with Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill Producing Artistic Director plus the cast of The Irish…And How They Got That Way
Thirsty Thursday – Thursday March 26
Featuring pre-show tastings provided by Albany Distilling and Nine Pin Cider, starting at 6:30PM.
Behind the Scenes– Sunday March 29
Featuring light fare before the matinee and a pre-show presentation with special guest Elizabeth Stack (Irish Heritage Museum) from 1-1:30PM. (Food service begins at 12:30PM).