The Arts

Acting Up Stage – Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens’ A Man of No Importance

Acting Up Stage – Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens’ A Man of No Importance featured image

by Paula Citron.
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A Man of No Importance
Acting Up Stage
Composed by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Book by Terrence McNally
Directed by Lezlie Wade
Starring Douglas E. Hughes, Patty Jamieson, Ian Deakin and Kyle Blair
At Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Mar. 22
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A Man of No Importance is a touching little musical. Composer Stephen Flaherty, lyricist Lynn Ahrens and playwright Terrence McNally based their production on the 1994 cult film of the same name starring Albert Finney.

In the story set in conservative Dublin in 1963, Finney plays a bus conductor called Alfie Byrne who stages plays, particularly those of Oscar Wilde, in his church’s basement using local parishioners as his actors. Unfortunately, Alfie is a closet gay and sooner or later, his sexual orientation will clash with his faith.

The tuneful songs take us through Alfie’s story and the gilt-edged 12-member cast is mostly culled from the Stratford and Shaw Festivals. Douglas E. Hughes is just wonderful as Alfie. The musical numbers are mostly about the people who populate the parish of St. Imelda’s and are rich character studies.

This charming show, tastefully directed by Lezlie Wade, deserves an audience.

A Man of No Importance continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Mar. 22.

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