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CatalpaBased on a true story of a daring rescue of six Irish prisoners in 1875, CATALPA is a "rip-roaring theatrical adventure" (Washington Post) in the great seafaring epic tradition of Moby Dick. CATALPA tells the true story of sea captain George Anthony who set out in the whaling ship Catalpa to rescue six Irish Fenian prisoners from Fremantle Colony in Australia.
From the whaling town of New Bedford, Massachusetts to a penal colony in Fremantle, Australia, to the scene of New York’s first ever ticker-tape parade, CATALPA is about heroes and visionaries, political intrigue and personal loyalty, with hot romance and battles at sea. It's an epic adventure story that challenges the nature of heroism.
CATALPA has thrilled audiences and dazzled critics all over the world, premiering in Dublin and touring to Melbourne, London, Chicago, Toronto, Paris, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Geneva. It finally sails into New York harbor and makes port at the Irish Arts Center for a strictly limited engagement.
Described by the Times of London as "dazzling theatrical story-telling," these are monologues unlike any other, incorporating memory, landscape, poetic narrative and song, all infused by O'Kelly’s Herculean physical energy. Fintan O'Toole (The Irish Times) called it "Exuberant, exhilarating magical!" O'Kelly's spellbinding story-telling combines with music composed and performed live by Trevor Knight to recreate the 19th Century rescue voyage with daring theatricality and an unsparing sense of humor.
Donal O'Kelly is a writer and actor. His much-traveled solo plays include the award-winning CATALPA (Edinburgh Fringe First, London Time Out Critics’ Choice, Best Event Melbourne International Festival), Bat The Father Rabbit The Son (Best Writer and Best Actor nominations Irish Theatre Awards), and Jimmy Joyced! (Best Actor nomination Irish Theatre Awards). His play The Cambria, about Frederick Douglas' voyage to Ireland in 1845, performed with Sorcha Fox, toured Ireland, as well as playing the UK and Los Angeles. Vive La, a 1798 spy story mummer play, toured Ireland in 2007, and was revived in the Project in 2008. Running Beast, his music-theatre piece with music by Michael Holohan, has toured Europe since its premiere in September 2007. Other plays include The Dogs (Rough Magic); Hughie On The Wires, Trickledown Town, The Business Of Blood, Farawayan (all Calypso); Asylum! Asylum! (Peacock, Traverse Edinburgh, Ottawa and Boston); Mamie Sighs, Judas Of The Gallarus (Peacock); and The Hand (Dublin Theatre Festival). He has twice been awarded an Irish Arts Council literature bursary, and in 1999 was awarded the Irish American Cultural Institute Butler Literary Award. As an actor, his film roles include leading roles in Roddy Doyle’s The Van and in the acclaimed bilingual film Kings, Brainer in Spin The Bottle and Funny Face in Conor McPherson’s I Went Down. On stage, he has played Lincoln Center with Beckett’s Act Without Words, Toronto Winter Garden as Lucky in Waiting For Godot, Joxer in the Abbey Theatre’s Juno And The Paycock and Sean O’Casey in Colm Toibin’s Beauty In A Broken Place at the Peacock. He is also an associate director of the peace and justice organization Afri.
Trevor Knight formed the experimental jazz-fusion band Naima in Dublin in 1970, while attending Bolton Street College, which became the first outlet for his own compositions. In the late 1970s he lived in the Netherlands and with Gay Woods formed Auto da Fé, an avante-pop group with a strong theatrical element. They recorded three albums and toured extensively throughout the UK and Ireland between 1980-90. He has worked with many artists such as Paul Brady, Philip Lynott, Roger Doyle (General Practice), Camille O'Sullivan and Mary Coughlan. He has written scores for more than 50 theatrical productions including his work with Donal O'Kelly such as Catalpa (Fringe First Award Edinburgh 1997) and Vive La (2007). Interdisciplinary collaborations with visual artist Alice Maher include Link (Belfast Festival 1997) and a performance piece The Sky Chair (Project Arts Centre 1998). Recent work includes slat (Galway Arts Festival 2007) with butoh dancer Maki Watanabe and The Whistling Girl (Dublin Fringe Festival 2007) with his band featherhead.
|Dates: ||Nov. 16, 2008 - Nov. 30, 2008|
Previews start: Nov. 12, 2008
|Schedule: ||Tuesday Friday at 8:00 PM; Saturday at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM; and Sunday at 3:00 PM|
|Venue: ||Irish Arts Center, 553 W. 51st St. (btw 10th & 11th Aves.)|
|Tickets/info: ||(212) 868-4444|
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