by Brian Friel
directed by Charlotte Moore
January 16- March 8, 2009
One of the most distinctive voices in contemporary Irish theater, master storyteller Brian Friel is at the top of his form with this touching story of a once powerful and aristocratic O’Donnell family in its days of decline. The clan gathers for the joys of a wedding but their pasts intrude and truths are revealed in this beautifully tender play by the Tony Award-winning author.
“BRIAN FRIEL’S ELEGIAC PLAY “ARISTOCRATS,” WHICH IS BEING GIVEN A FIRST-RATE REVIVAL BY THE IRISH REPERTORY THEATER, what begins as a wedding celebration ends up as a wake. CHARLOTTE MOORE HAS DIRECTED A FINE CAST IN A WELL-PACED AND LOW-KEY STAGING. ” — The New York Times
“Director Charlotte Moore’s TOP-FLIGHT ENSEMBLE makes this Irish Rep revival VERY SATISFYING…” — NY Daily News
“BRIAN FRIEL’S ACHINGLY BEAUTIFUL 1979 play about the disintegration of Ireland’s gentry, Aristocrats, is so Chekhovian, you keep expecting his distinguished family to put down the whiskey bottle and start swigging tea from a samovar. IN THE IRISH REP’S METICULOUS REVIVAL, HELMER (AND COMPANY A.D.) CHARLOTTE MOORE ASSEMBLES A DREAM CAST to play the members of this diminished clan, gathered here at the bedside of their dying patriarch to wring their hands over their proud lost heritage and to illustrate Friel’s belief in the healing power of storytelling to take a family, a village, a nation through troubled times. Friel seems to be saying that, if you don’t drink to escape the realities of a world grown too hard to bear, you might just as well tell a story to ease the pain.” — Variety