Port Authority OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Carol Rosegg
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • TM

  • AP

  • L&S AMERICA

Opening Night:
October 2, 2014
Closing:
November 16, 2014

Theater: DR2 Theatre / 103 East 15th Street, New York, NY, 10003

Synopsis: 

Port Authority is the story of three generations of Irish men: Kevin, a rudderless young man who falls for his female roommate who doesn't reciprocate his feelings; Dermot, in middle age, who mistakenly launches into a job he cannot handle; and Joe, a widower who hoards his memories of a lifelong romantic passion. Conor McPherson, Ireland's master storyteller, weaves an interconnected tale of love, life, and shattered dreams.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Port Authority

    Across Ages, a Journey Through Regret
    Conor McPherson’s ‘Port Authority'

    Anita Gates

    October 10, 2014: The young guy is in a hoodie, the old guy a sweater vest and the middle-aged guy in a casual-Friday ensemble with a sloppily loosened tie. In the Irish Repertory Theater’s solid production of Port Authority, it’s not surprising that the men never talk to one another. Structurally, that’s because Conor McPherson wrote the play as a series of three monologues, alternating over 90 minutes. But socially and psychologically, these three men wouldn’t be interested in what the others had to say. Kevin (James Russell) is all nervous energy, living away from his parents for the first time, sharing a house with friends and falling in love with a young woman he’s afraid to pursue. Dermot (Billy Carter), who seems to get his energy from alcohol, can’t believe his good luck, a fantastic job offer way above his qualifications — and then he learns the horrible truth. Joe (Peter Maloney) lives in a retirement home and doesn’t have much need for energy until he receives a mysterious package from a long-ago neighbor. Its arrival is part of one of those “I never told her” stories. It took a long time for Port Authority to get to New York; maybe producers thought it was about a bus station. More likely, it’s the playwright’s comment on characters who just let ships pass in the night. The play was first staged in London in 2001, when Mr. McPherson was 30 years old and a new celebrity (his ghost story The Weir had won the 1999 Laurence Olivier Award). But there was no New York production until 2008, when the Atlantic Theater Company staged it.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Port Authority

    The Irish Rep revives McPherson’s moody trialogue just beautifully

    Helen Shaw

    October 3, 2014: Conor McPherson’s gorgeous 2001 triple monologue Port Authority has an affinity with the sea—you watch it tidally, patiently, waiting for chaos to resolve into sense. Technically, the piece is undramatic: Its storytellers never interact, even though events graze one another as they unwind. It feels like taking a walk or sitting at a bar—it doesn’t really feel like going to a play. Three men tell us stories. Young (James Russell), middle-aged (Billy Carter) and old (national treasure Peter Maloney), they share their tales of frustrations and inertia. Russell loves a housemate but daren’t tell her; Carter finds himself in a job he isn’t even half suited for; Maloney is in a nursing home, hiding his ancient secrets from sympathetic nuns. Each man gets to do a marvelous drunk act, and then each cracks his heart open. It may not sound fun, but it is.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Port Authority

    Conor McPherson's drama of lost souls is back in New York courtesy of the Irish Repertory Theatre

    David Gordon

    October 2, 2014: Few playwrights are able to bring lost souls to life as vividly as Conor McPherson. The prolific Irish dramatist is an expert at finding the hidden compassion within these people, usually hard-drinking layabouts who've just given up after a major trauma stunted their emotional growth. Port Authority, McPherson's 2001 drama that saw its New York premiere in 2008 at the Atlantic and is now being revived by the Irish Repertory Theatre at the DR2 Theatre, is a triptych of monologues involving three denizens of the author's particularly bleak twilight zone known as Ireland. Those denizens — Kevin (James Russell), Dermot (Billy Carter), and Joe (Peter Maloney) — are men of vastly different backgrounds, representative of the three men's ages, and their stories prove you don't have to have a lifetime of regrets to be completely lost. The monologues are loosely connected at best, but McPherson is less worried about dramatic conventions than he is about creating a milieu of misery. Young Kevin has just moved out of his parents' house and into an apartment with two guys and his first non-girlfriend female friend with whom he immediately starts envisioning a life. Middle-aged Dermot gets offered a preposterously fancy job that he knows he doesn't deserve and finds himself Los Angeles-bound, where he must deal with the sudden aftershocks. Joe, living in a home for senior citizens, begins to recall the woman who got away when he inexplicably receives a photograph of her in the mail.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF Port Authority

    Bittersweet 'Port Authority' Retains Charm

    Jeniifer Farrar

    October 2, 2014: If we don't take a chance sometimes in life, are we doomed to live with regrets? Muscular dialogue and communication failures drive Conor McPherson's darkly comedic 2001 drama, Port Authority. McPherson, one of Ireland's premier dramatists weaves a lyrical, bittersweet portrayal of three generations of Irish men whose individual reminiscences share buried insecurities, repressed longings and memories of missed opportunities. A robust revival opened Thursday night, presented off-Broadway by the Irish Repertory Theatre at their temporary downtown location, the DR2 Theatre. Although there's no "action" to speak of in Ciaran O'Reilly's deft and sensitive staging, lifetimes are spun out before us in McPherson's intercut trilogy of monologues. The 90-minute production is intense and elegiac, simply set on a darkened stage where the ruminative trio, affectingly portrayed by James Russell, Billy Carter and Peter Maloney, never interact. They might be in individual limbos, but their stories are similarly tinged with rich visual images and rueful humor.

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  • LIGHTING AND SOUND AMERICA REVIEW OF Port Authority

    Port Authority (Irish Repertory Theatre)

    David Barbour

    October 6, 2014: "I don't know if I'm happy or sad," says Joe, one of the trio of lost souls who make up the cast of Port Authority. He could be speaking for all of them. The lovelorn Kevin; terrified, alcoholic Dermot; and the elderly Joe all have stories to tell about themselves, the main themes being choices not made and crucial moments missed. Most of the time, effective drama hinges on action, the conflict of opposing forces; here, Conor McPherson makes magic from characters recalling the moment when the door of possibility slammed shut. The men of Port Authority describe their failures with a kind of plainspoken poetry that lays bare their souls for all to see. Kevin recalls moving, against his parents' wishes, into an apartment in Dublin with three roommates. With no job and no particular goals, he admits, wryly, it "was like pretending to make a decision." He shares the place with two male friends and the beautiful Clare, whose boyfriends are "rich and spoiled and better-looking than us." Yet, even when he falls into an agreeably erotic relationship with a waitress/college student name Trish, there is a connection between him and Clare that both silently acknowledge yet are unwilling to disturb.

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