The world premiere of Angel of Broadway, a new musical written by Brian Byrne of Navan and his wife, Kasey Jones, takes place on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th June at the National Concert Hall. A top international line-up joins the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for these two concert performances, an exciting occasion in musical theatre.
The cast includes include Tyrone-born actor and singer Fra Fee, who was in the film adaptation of Les Misérables and is just finishing a Broadway run in Sam Mendes’ acclaimed production of The Ferryman; actor and singer Ian Pirie – most recently seen in the film Calibre – returning to singing for the first time in ten years for this; and award-winning Belfast blues singer Kaz Hawkins, who has survived abuse, addiction and violence and now uses music as a way to campaign around mental health issues. A star search for the female lead got over 350 applications and the winner was 20-year-old Megan Pottinger, from Trim. The cast also features Lucia Evans, Willie Byrne and special guest Adèle King. A choir of 60 - including many from Meath - has been handpicked from various choirs, music colleges and musical societies. Brian Byrne himself conducts the RTÉ CO and the director is John O’Brien.
Set on the streets of New York City in the late 1990s, the plot revolves around Irishman Frankie Cunningham, from a past of happiness and fame to a present where he is at risk of insanity and homelessness. Central to the story is his relationship with his brother, from the bond they once shared to the love affair that tore them apart. When news breaks that the flophouse where Frankie is living is set to be demolished, he and his down-and-out friends fight back, and go after the powerful, wealthy man responsible for the demolition, the same man that ruined Frankie's life many years ago, his estranged brother, Charles Cunningham.
Brian Byrne’s career in LA and worldwide composing for film and TV has gone from strength. He has been winning fans like Barbra Streisand, Glenn Close, Alanis Morissette, Julian Lennon, Josh Groban and Dustin Hoffman, stacking up prestigious awards and nominations, recording albums, composing for Heartbeat of Home, among countless other projects. His long-standing relationship with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra has led to many successful collaborations, including the soundtracks to Albert Nobbs and Black ’47, and most recently to a new John Carney Amazon show Modern Love, starring Anne Hathaway.
Angel of Broadway has been a passion project for Brian and Kasey for the past few years – now Irish audiences will be the first to see it.
It follows the sell-out concert by Navan classical guitarist Pat Coldrick and the orchestra, conducted by Brian Byrne, in the National Concert Hall last month, and the sold-out Dylan Moran run in Vicar Street last week, which will be repeated early next month. With Tommy Tiernan's Saturday night chat show on RTE hosting some rivetting interviews, the Navan folk have taken over the capital!
Angel of Broadway tickets: €12–€39.50 ● Booking: 01 417 0000/www.nch.ie