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Quirky, Dark Comedy By Irish Author Opens St. Patrick's Day In Stamford

The titular character of Brendan Behan's quirky, dark comedy, "The Hostage," playing in Curtain Call's Dressing Room Theatre, Stamford, March 17 thru April 3 is played by Byron O'Hanlon (seated). Seen here guarding the hostage is Justin Lockwood.
The titular character of Brendan Behan's quirky, dark comedy, "The Hostage," playing in Curtain Call's Dressing Room Theatre, Stamford, March 17 thru April 3 is played by Byron O'Hanlon (seated). Seen here guarding the hostage is Justin Lockwood. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn., -- In 1959 Dublin, a young British soldier is held captive by the Irish Republican Army while an equally young IRA volunteer awaits execution for killing a policeman.

If the British carry out the Irishman's sentence, the IRA will do the same to the Englishman. Playwright Brendan Behan, himself a former IRA member, took this dire premise to mold a sly political satire and local audiences can see it when "The Hostage" plays March 17 to April 3 at Stamford's The Dressing Room Theatre.

Behan, the Irish author, shows how prejudice, blind stupidity and love of convention combine to kill an innocent young man. The play is set in a Dublin lodging house inhabited by two prostitutes, two homosexuals, a caretaker and an old Englishman named Monsewer who came to fight for Ireland's independence 45 years ago and has never given up the cause. A Russian sailor, two officers of the Irish Republican Army, a few Catholic social workers and a man named Princess Grace also drift across the stage.

The language and situations in the production are not intended for younger audiences.

While not a conventional musical, the play includes several pub-style songs. The humor comes from its political satire while delving into the harsh realities of the IRA, death and prejudice.

The cast includes many past Curtain Call performers: Cathy Cordaro, Steve Benko, Scott Faubel, Gail Yudain, Ted Yudain, Jim Eaton, Jacquie Carlsen, Emily Vrissis and Andre Herzegovitch, along with newcomers Norris Wakefield, Anastasia Marcos, Byron O'Hanlon, Justin Lockwood and Olivia Walsh. The production design is by Peter Barbieri Jr. with costumes by Terry Hanson.

"The Hostage" will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Regular prices are $32 for adults, $24 for senior citizens and $16 for students and children. Thrifty Thursday pricing – all seats $22. Cll the box office at 203-461-6358 or online . Discounted flex pass subscriptions offer savings of more than 25 percent off regular adult prices.

Curtain Call is the award-winning, nonprofit community-based theater company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Ave., Stamford.

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