Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Brogue in Brooklyntown

Do you ever just get the urge to up and go to NYC on a whim?

I know I do.

At St. Ann's Warehouse, DUMBO
And when by chance I read a few weeks ago that Mr. Cillian Murphy would be making his U.S. stage debut in Brooklyn with a one-man play, written and directed by Enda Walsh, I just could not resist. Mr. Walsh is also the writer of Disco Pigs, the play which first launched Mr. Murphy's acting career those several years ago.

The play was called Misterman and I can safely say it was like nothing I'd ever seen before. True to form for Mr. Walsh, it was quite dark overall. Fortunately, it also had more than a few moments of laugh-out-loud humor and endlessly clever uses of sound, lighting and props. The stage area was exceptional as well, nearly a character unto itself. Truly, the entire converted space of St. Ann's Warehouse seemed expertly utilized. The seating was limited, and very close to the stage, as only about 100 people appeared to fill the sold-out show.

The script provided one brief burst of Gaeilge. I could at least recognize it as such, even if the only word I really managed to understand was "slainte." :) Mr. Murphy's prominent 'brogue' throughout was ideal, though; strong and authentic, but still fairly decipherable to an American ear.

Oh, and did I mention that he was just completely and totally brilliant? The word is 'magnetic,' or perhaps 'electrifying.' Either way, I could not look away...Enrapturing? Enchanting? Just incredible...

Mr. Murphy as Thomas Magill in Misterman
Naturally, the New York Times puts it all more eloquently and thoroughly than I can manage here, but suffice it to say, it was well-worth the trip.

After the play, my mother, (who is a saint for humoring me on this crazy, last-minute trip in the first place), and I found ourselves wandering the streets of DUMBO looking for a cab to take us back to Williamsburg. The crowds had begun to thin, the stores were all closed-up and there were no cabs in sight. My mom smartly concluded that we should return to the theatre and ask the staff for advice on finding a cab in the area.

A lovely security guard kindly called a cab and then chatted us up about the play before returning inside the theatre. Moments later, the guard reappeared at the door, where a darkly-clad, brilliantly blue-eyed Mr. Murphy slipped out on to the sidewalk, locking eyes with me eeeever so briefly before turning towards a waiting car across the street.

At this point, about 10 or so people who'd apparently been waiting for this all along (?!?) swarmed the man at his open car door, taking video, and asking for photos and autographs. He was more than kind enough to at least oblige the autographs.

Still several yards away at this point, I debated joining the crowd. I mean, in the past, I've been known to carry a Sharpie in my purse on occasion, usually just for the defacement of bathroom walls and such, (c'mon, you just never know), but it certainly seemed...serendipitous...that I should happen to have it with me at such a moment. My mom, on the phone with my stepdad, thrust the playbill in my hand saying, "Go! Go!"

Me, in NYC!
Realizing that I would more than likely never, ever see this man again, I swallowed my pride and finally jogged over to the other side of the crowd, meeting him right alongside his car door. All I could manage to say was "Would you please sign this?" He smiled congenially, taking the playbill in his hands, along with my Sharpie. Somehow a nice 'Go raibh maith agat' escaped me in the moment, but I did muster an awe-struck 'Thank you.'  :)

I'll try not to get too gushy, lest I really embarrass myself here, but wow. I refuse to concede that he was anything less than mesmerizing. Truly disarming. His 'brogue' in person seemed none too strong, perhaps on purpose for our sake. Or maybe I was just too fantastically distracted to take much notice...

In any case, it was nothing short of an awesome, surreal experience to see the lovely, very talented and gracious Mr. Murphy, both on stage and off, in NYC.

* sigh *

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