Monday, May 5, 2014

Daniel Radcliffe Stars In "The Cripple of Inishmaan"

Daniel Radcliffe is clearly determined to avoid being typecast as the actor who played Harry Potter. He played a leading roles in "Equus," 2008, and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," 2011, and also played poet Allen Ginsberg in the compelling film "Kill Your Darlings," 2013 (reviewed here). In "The Cripple of Inishmaan," written by Martin McDonagh and directed by Michael Grandage at Broadway's Cort Theatre, Radcliffe continues to expand his range as an actor willing to take on–and successfully so–challenging roles.

Radcliffe plays "Cripple Billy" in the bleak Irish island of Inishmaan. Born with a misshapen arm and leg, the sensitive Billy spends his time reading, staring at cows and putting up with the locals' caustic comments, including those of the girl he's interested in, Helen McCormick (Sarah Greene). Town legend has it that Billy's parents killed themselves prior to his birth, and two elderly shopkeepers, Eileen and Kate Osbourne (Gillian Hanna and Ingrid Craigie) have been raising him. Johnnypateen (Pat Shortt), who brings local news to the women in exchange for food, visits with a significant report: director Robert J. Flaherty is shooting a movie, "Man of Aran" (which Flaherty really did direct) on a nearby island, Inishmore. Determined to leave his bleak surroundings, Billy plots to go back to Hollywood with the cast and become an actor. In this poignant tragicomedy, Billy, compellingly played by Radcliffe, finds that escape is hardly assured.

"The Cripple of Inishmaan" is being presented at the Cort Theatre 138 W. 48th St., NYC, 212-239-6200, Through July 20. Running time: 2 hours 25 minutes.

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