The Guardian – Martin Pengelly, January 19th 2019
‘Alone It Stands’: Munster rugby takes down All Blacks, moves on Manhattan

It’s a shame, in a way, that John Breen’s opera from 2014, Breakdown, is not in fact about rugby. In his play Alone It Stands, at 59E59 in New York City until the end of the month, the Irishman turns a maul into a screaming birth. God knows what he could do with a ruck.

Like rugby union itself, the play is very simple and hugely complicated. Six actors take on a multitude of parts to tell the tale of 31 October 1978, the day Munster, the most southerly province, beat the mighty New Zealand All Blacks.

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Front Row and Center – David Walters, January 19th 2019
‘Inside Danny’s Box’ Review

Inside Danny’s Box, by Derek Murphy, is one of the offerings of the festival.  It’s a crazy-funny story of love, lack of love, misguided love and sex in all its messed-up forms.

A young couple, John (Danny Redfern Holme) and Marybeth (Aoife Williamson), just moved into the neighborhood.  John quit his job as an accountant to become a writer and Marybeth, now the only breadwinner, has become resentful.  This resentment has dissolved the glue of their relationship to the point that she can’t stand his breathing and fantasizes his going up in flames.  While Marybeth is away at work, John has been igniting his own flames of passion.

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Hollywood Soapbox – John Soltes, January 18th 2019
INTERVIEW: Mick Mellamphy becomes ‘The Smuggler’ at Irish festival

Mick Mellamphy is no stranger to Origin’s 1st Irish, the annual theater festival celebrating the work of Irish and Irish-American playwrights. The actor has been performing in plays over the entire history of 1st Irish, and this year is no different. He is currently taking on the one-man show The Smuggler, playing through Jan. 21 at he cell theatre in Chelsea.

In the play, written by Galway-born playwright Ronán Noone, Mellamphy’s character of Tim Finnigan is on a comedic journey of self-discovery. He needs to navigate life with a partner, with a newborn baby and a new understanding of the American dream.

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Irish Central – Staff, January 17th 2019
How Cork became the center of Irish ballet history

On Tuesday, January 22, New York will hold host to “Breaking Pointe,” an in-depth look at the history and love for ballet in Ireland’s second city, Cork.

For many, Ireland may not immediately spring to mind when one mentions for the art form but in the Rebel City, a passion for ballet has grown from generation to generation alongside the hard work and dedication of Cork City Ballet, the city’s ballet companies and the tireless teachers opening up the door to both new Irish dancers and visiting international dancers.

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The New York Times – Ben Brantley, January 13th 2019
On Blueberry Hill’ Looks Back in Radiant Regret

Two men sit in darkness, remembering the light. Images flare, flicker and disappear, like matches struck and snuffed, as these residents of a Dublin prison recall life before incarceration. Could it really have been that glorious?

Probably not. But the past they summon — a time when, as one of them puts it, they existed at the very “bull’s-eye of life” without knowing it — almost blinds in its radiance before being swallowed by night. There’s nothing like regret and Gaelic retrospect to find the poetry in the prose of the everyday.

That, more or less, describes the ravishing first third of Sebastian Barry’s “On Blueberry Hill,” the seriously imbalanced new play about love, hatred and redemption that opened on Sunday night at 59E59 Theaters as part of Origin’s 1st Irish Festival. It is a common point of view in Irish literature, this transformation of nostalgia into a sacred elegy.