258 ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’

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I grabbed a pair of $27 tickets to Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan a few months ago and saw the show this past Friday evening. It is a worthwhile piece of theater, if you are in NYC or visiting.

I didn’t go to see Radcliffe (who did a fantastic job); I went to see McDonagh’s work as he is one of my favorite playwrights, filmmakers, and screenwriters.

When I was on line outside of the theater there were a lot of young Harry Potter fans waiting with their parents, and I thought, “I hope you did your research. This play may not be child friendly.” Then as expected, as soon as the first F-Bomb dropped, there was audible gasping and nervous fidgeting. In addition, there was talk about priests molesting young children (which drew more gasps than the cursing), but as the F-Bomb continued to fly, something interesting happened: no one left. The reason? The story was so compelling, it sucked everyone in.

There were no frills or spectacles, just an intriguing story told by a fantastic crew of actors. Each moment walked that fine line between hilarity and tragedy, where the two were often blurred. In the saddest moments we found ourselves laughing, and in the funniest moments we cried. There were no lulls in the show. There were no weak links in the cast. The dialogue was fiercely understood and attacked. The comedy came fast and furiously. The whole experience was spectacular, despite the lack of spectacle.

Sitting with the audience was one of the best parts of the show. No one was complaining that they couldn’t understand the Irish dialects. There were audible gasps when certain plot lines revealed themselves. People behind me were calling one of the characters a bitch. The audience was on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Everyone in the entire theater was 100% present.

The producers have also made 10,000 tickets throughout the run available at $27, so it’s more financially accessible. They did this in London, and continued it here in NYC according to the director’s notes. There are other deals like this on Broadway, but you must own a student ID, wait on line for lotteries, or be within a certain youthful age range. These discounted seats are truly a boon. I hope other producers follow suit as not all theater lovers meet the requirements above, nor can the afford the expensive ticket prices.

If you are in NYC, go see this show. It was a thrilling experience.

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