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“The Seafarer”Irish Repertory Theatre the Francis J. Greenburger MainstageWritten by Conor McPhersonDirected by Ciarán O’ReillyStarring Matthew Broderick, Colin McPhillamy, Michael Mellamphy, Andy Murray, and Tim Ruddy
Through May 24, 2018
As one of Ireland’s most important contemporary dramatic voices, playwright Conor McPherson knows how to craft a simple yet sly story in “The Seafarer.” Making its off-Broadway return to New York at the Irish Rep through Ciarán O’Reilly’s well-directed production, the play shouldn’t be missed. Set in a beautifully ramshackle house in Baldoyle, a coastal suburb north of Dublin, McPherson’s set piece starts as an intimate look at middle aged men coping with the dismay of living out lives full of existential despair and actual pain. These are characters who haven’t exactly handled their jobs or families with much grace, but what seems to be naturalistic portraits turns into an oddly believable supernatural fantasy with a sinister underpinning.
The narrative revolves around a simple idea — what if what we think we know isn’t what’s really up. In this case, well-worn traumas working their way through a wretched Christmas Eve into Christmas day take a sinister turn. Without giving away the reveal, there’s a twist to the story that takes it from a look into painfully frustrating men interacting into an intriguing game of win or really lose. When the play transforms from this intimate look of lives struggling with last attempts at redemption to be a supernatural thriller of fate, it adds a layer of humor and anxiety that makes even more revealing.
Sharky (Andy Murray) has returned home to build a new, sober life after losing yet another job through both recklessness and sheer bad luck. He has to cope with his far more hopeless older brother, Richard (Colin McPhillamy) who had been blinded through a drunken accident a year ago. While Sharky tries to help him he doesn’t make it easy refusing to bathe or slow down his drunken excesses.
On this Christmas Eve, their old disreputable friend Ivan (Michael Mellamphy) has crashed in the house rather than be home with his family. The drinks flow as these old “friends” are joined by Nicky (Tim Ruddy) who brings along the mysterious Mr. Lockhart (Matthew Broderick) for an annual game of poker. This stranger turns out to be someone encountered in Sharky’s wretched past who ups the ante on the stakes in the game with possibly dire consequences.
All of the cast settles into their characters with ease and rough grace but it is Broderick, in his second appearance on the Irish Repertory Theatre’s main stage, who turns out to be the perfect sinister personality. Because of his seemingly innocent face and demeanor, he adds an unexpected grit to his character. Previously he had been in McPherson's "Shining City" in 2016, which was hailed by The New York Times as “his most assured and affecting stage performance in years.”
When "The Seafarer" premiered at London’s Royal National Theatre in 2006, it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Play. When premiered on Broadway in December of 2007, it was nominated for four 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Play. And if this current version is any indication, this 46-year old playwright is poised for an ever brighter future.
The South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) returns to LA with a slate of features, shorts, and documentaries looking at the fluid borders of south east Europe. Formed in 2002, SEEfest aims to educate about and promote the cultural diversity of South East Europe.
The festival opens with a screening of Hawaii from director Jesús del Cerro, about a parent and child eluding the Secret Police of Communist Romania in pursuit of an inheritance. Director Cerro will also be taking part in the festival’s series of Coffee Talk lectures other producers and directors with films being screened.
Documentaries being shown include Roland Sejko’s The Awaiting, which tracks the tumultuous religious history of Albania. In Drifting Generation, directed by Stella Nicoletta Drossa, five young women, all daughters of Greek immigrant workers in Germany, return to Greece in the midst of its financial crisis.
One of the special screenings is the lavish period film, The Crown Prince, which tells the story of the crown prince Rudolf, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, whose life tragically ended in Mayerling in 1889.
To learn more, go to: http://seefilmla.org/
South East European Film Festival Los AngelesApril 26 - May 3, 2018
The weather is finally starting to get ever so slightly warmer, which means the outdoor movie viewing season will soon be upon us. Rooftop Films announced the opening of their Summer series for May 19 at Green-Wood Cemetery (500 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY ). The opening night slate of films entitled This is What We Mean By Short Films, which includes a reception, live music, and an after-party. And on June 30 the same venue will host the Rooftop Film documentary slate, New York Non-Fiction. The specific films to be shown will be announced at a later date.
To learn more, go to: https://www.rooftopfilms.com/
This is What We Mean By Short FilmsMay 19, 2018
New York Non-FictionJune 30, 2018
Green-Wood Cemetery500 25th StreetBrooklyn, NY 11232
The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) the oldest film festival screening premieres of feature, documentary and short films made from, of, and about the Indian subcontinent in NYC will be returning May 7 - 12, 2018. Held at the Village East Cinema (181-189 2nd Ave.). The fest opens with the world premiere of Ravi Yadhav’s Nude, in which a single mother and her son move to Mumbai to start a new life when she takes on the taboo profession of a nude artist’s model to make ends meet. The centerpiece film of the fest is the North American premiere of Juze from director Miransha Naik in which a young boy must confront a violent slumlord that has a grip on his community. Closing the fest is Omerta from Hansal Mehta about a man with a dark war torn past at odds with two sides of his identity.
The fest also has a series of panels such as “Discovering the Film & Television Market in India” hosted by Ivanhoe Pictures executive Kilian Kerwin, “Shooting Film in New York State” a roundtable discussion with New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, and “The Inclusion Rider's Role in Diversifying Hollywood” with South Asian American attorney Kalpana Kotagal, co-author of the "Inclusion Rider".
To learn more, go to: http://www.iaac.us/nyiff2018/index.htm
The 18th Annual New York Indian Film FestivalMay 7 - 12, 2018
Village East Cinema181-189 2nd Ave.New York, NY 10003
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