Have a whale of a time with this Irish theater festival

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If you haven’t seen all nine original digital productions that the Irish Repertory Theatre (IRT) created during the COVID-19 shutdown, you’re in luck. That’s because the New York City-based theater company will show all nine productions for its Theatre @ Home Winter Festival. It will start on Jan. 26 and run through March 7.

While all festival events are free, IRT requires reservations to access Performances on Screen. Also, for those able to give, IRT suggests donations of $25 for a performance, or $100 for the festival.

“Your contribution will ensure that we can continue to offer top-quality digital events, keep our staff employed, and be artistically and financially ready to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so,” reads a message on IRT’s website, irishrep.org.

The festival includes works by Brian Friel, James Joyce, Conor McPherson, and Eugene O’Neill.

Below are the shows that comprise the line-up, show descriptions, the dates on which you can see them, and links to make reservations.

  • Molly Sweeney – Jan. 26, Feb. 6, 13, and 18, 26, and March 2. Molly has lived in happy, capable, and independent darkness since she was ten months old. When Frank, her restless, unemployed, and enthusiastic husband, makes her blindness his latest cause, he recruits Dr. Rice, a once famous surgeon who, despite being half-drowned in Irish whiskey, agrees to attempt to restore Molly’s sight. When the bandages come off, Molly, Frank, and Mr. Rice discover the differences between seeing and understanding as they face the terrible consequences of a medical miracle. To make reservations, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
  • Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom – Jan. 27, Feb. 2, 14, 17, 28, and March 3. It is Ireland in the early hours of June 17th, 1904. Molly Bloom’s husband–the wandering philandering Leopold “Poldy” Bloom–has just come home and fallen asleep in their Dublin row house. Molly–a daughter, a mother, a lover and a long-suffering wife–patrols the pathways of her wild and leaping consciousness. She is lustful. Scared. Exuberant. Heartbreakingly lonely. Vivaciously reckless. And profoundly funny. With an empty nest, an unfulfilling affair and a marriage long past its prime, Molly must find a way back to the rock-bed of love that she and Bloom once shared. To make reservations, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
  • The Weir – Jan. 27, Feb. 6, 10, and 19, 28, and March 3. In a remote country pub in Ireland, newcomer Valerie arrives and becomes spellbound by an evening of ghostly stories told by the local bachelors who drink there. With a whiff of sexual tension in the air and the wind whistling outside, what starts out as blarney soon darkens as the tales drift into the realm of the supernatural. Then, Valerie reveals a startling story of her own… To make reservations, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
  • Love, Noel: A Performance on Screen – Jan. 28, Feb. 3, 14, 20, 24, and March 4. Get to know the life and times of one of the 20thcentury’s most dynamic creative icons – Noël Coward – through this intimate performance in which Steve Ross and KT Sullivan transform into some of the many characters that made up Coward’s unique life…Gertrude Lawrence, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Elaine Stritch, Lynn Fontanne, Virginia Woolf, Edna Ferber, the Queen Mother, and, of course, The Master himself, Noël Coward. Through Coward’s songs, stories, and personal letters, cabaret legends Steve Ross and KT Sullivan will summon up timeless memories of an era that may be gone, but is never to be forgotten. To make reservations, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
  • Belfast Blues– Jan. 29, Feb. 7, 13, 17, 23, and March 5. Belfast Blues is a tapestry of autobiographical stories told from actor Geraldine Hughes’ perspective as a little girl coming of age in the war-torn Belfast of the 1980s. To reserve, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
  • Give Me Your Hand– Jan. 30, Feb. 7, 10, 21, 24, and March 6. In this special engagement, two of Ireland’s finest actors, Dearbhla Molloy and Dermot Crowley, take audiences on a virtual stroll through London’s National Gallery, discovering afresh the Museum’s masterpieces from Van Gogh and Van Eyck, to Rubens and Gainsborough. To reserve, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
  • A Touch of the Poet– Jan. 30, Feb. 4, 12, 16, 27, and March 6. Proud and tempestuous Cornelius Melody (Con) owns a run-down inn and tavern near Boston in 1828. Laden with debt, Con clings to his tenuous identity as a landed gentleman and war hero and chastises his wife and daughter for actions that expose the family’s humble Irish origins. When his daughter, Sara, falls in love with a wealthy American guest at their inn, Con’s pride drives him to an explosive reckoning with his true place in the New World. To reserve, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
  • On Beckett/In Screen– Jan. 31, Feb. 5, 10, 16, 20, 25, and March 7. Bill Irwin can’t escape Samuel Beckett. The pandemic hasn’t changed this. Two years ago, Irwin took the Irish Rep stage to premiere On Beckett, his award-winning meditation on Samuel Beckett’s works and language. Since then, COVID-19 has upended daily life worldwide, and live theatre is on hold as venues stand empty. In this time of anxiety and loss, Irwin revisits the words of Samuel Beckett, and returns alone to the Irish Rep digital stage, to bring us On Beckett / In Screen, a new meditation filmed for our current times. To reserve, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
  • Meet Me in St. Louis – Jan. 31, Feb. 3, 11, and 21, 27, and March 7. In this heartwarming musical, the Smith family grapples with life changes and new love in a bustling St. Louis on the brink of the 1904 World’s Fair. This special digital adaption from Charlotte Moore (Anna Smith in the original Broadway cast) will include favorite tunes, including “The Trolley Song,” “The Boy Next Door,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” along with the romantic suitors, comedic misunderstandings, and jovial pranks that make this classic musical a treat for people of all ages. To reserve, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32325.
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