Broadway Winter 2013/Spring 2014 Guide
by Whitney Spaner, 12/10/2013
Brian F. O'Byrne and Debra Messing. Photo: Andrew Eccles
After getting a taste of the Broadway scene in NBC's ill-fated musical drama Smash, Debra Messing is ready to make her real-life Broadway debut in playwright John Patrick Shanley's latest, Outside Mullingar. Messing stars with Brian F. O'Byrne, who is best known for his Tony-nominated role as a priest accused of sexual misconduct in Shanley's wildly successful 2004 play, Doubt. Here, the actors play Rosemary and Anthony, two single, middle-aged neighbors living in the isolated Irish countryside. Rosemary has had a thing for the shy, cattle-herding Anthony for years and is finally ready to make a move—but a land dispute between their two families stands in the way. The play, which will receive its world premiere on Broadway, has been billed as a kind of "Irish Moonstruck," a reference to the 1987 film about two Brooklyn Italian families that Shanley scripted. The movie won both him and its star, Cher, an Oscar; if Messing and Shanley have similar luck on this outing, the two seasons of Smash's cheesy, melodramatic plotlines might seem worth the price.
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St. Previews start January 3; opens January 23.