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James Barbour and Jenny Powers Lead Irish Rep Revival of Short-Lived Broadway Musical Donnybrook!

The production, directed by Charlotte Moore, begins performances February 7.

James Barbour
(© David Gordon)
Broadway veterans James Barbour (A Tale of Two Cities) and Jenny Powers (Little Women) will lead the cast of the Irish Repertory Theatre's upcoming production of the 1961 musical Donnybrook!, beginning performances February 7. Artistic director Charlotte Moore helms the production, with choreography by Barry McNabb. An opening is set for February 17.

Inspired 1952 John Ford film The Quiet Man and the Maurice Walsh story, Donnybrook! follows the story of Irish-American prizefighter Sean Enright (Barbour) who, after killing a man in the ring, returns to Ireland and woos a village maiden (Powers) who wants a man to fight for her affection. The musical features a score by Johnny Burke and a book by Robert E. McEnroe.

The company also includes Ted Koch (The Pillowman), Samuel Cohen (Once), Patrick Cummings (New Girl in Town), Terry Donnelly (The Shaughraun), Kathy Fitzgerald (9 to 5), Mary Mallen (The Veil), Barbara Marineau (The Women), Kern McFadden (The Misanthrope), Kevin McGuire (Les Miserables), and David Sitler (Frost/Nixon). Featured on the creative team are John Bell (musical director), James Noone (scenic design), Brian Nason (lighting design), Linda Fisher (costume design), Zachary Williamson (sound design), and Robert-Charles Vallance (hair and wig design).

Barbour's many Broadway credits also include Assassins, Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast, and the Irish Repertory Theatre's concert production of Oliver!. Powers has been seen in Grease, Follies, and Of Thee I Sing, among others.

The short-lived Donnybrook! only played 68 performances and two previews on Broadway upon its premiere. Composer/lyricist Burke is the songwriter of the standards "Pennies from Heaven," "I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams," "It Could Happen to You," and the Academy Award-winning "Swinging on a Star." McEnroe's plays include 1948 comedy The Silver Whistle (which was turned into the film Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell) and Mulligan's Snug.

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