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Steven Culp in "Catchpenny Twist"

January 27 - February 19, 1984 (20 performances)

SoHo Rep, New York, NY




Playwright by Stewart Parker Roy - Steven Culp
Directed by Peter Byrne Marie - Deborah Walsh
Man - Gerald Finnegan
Woman - Jennifer Sternberg
Girl - Katherine Leask




Synopsis

Dismissed from their teaching jobs, two young Belfast songwriters form a songwriting outfit to churn out fodder for all occasions, including Protestant ditties and instant Catholic ballads to fallen heroes. After receiving two live bullets through the post and warnings from an old teaching colleague, they set off in flight to Dublin and then to London. Success seems at hand, Belfast seems very far away... but for how long?

(Sunday Times)

Catchpenny Twist -'The most appealing thing about Parker's work is the ease with which he blends lunatic humour with a gritty sense of reality. He's done it before in Spokesong and he does it again in this hard, ribald and hilarious little play'.

(New York Magazine, February 6, 1984)

Soho Rep - Stewart Parker's "Catchpenny Twist," with music by Shaun Davey and lyrics by Stewart Parker, about two Belfast songwriters and their signer girlfriend; directed by Peter Byrne. Thurs. & Fri. at 8; Sat. at 6 & 9:30; Sun. at 4; $8; thru 2/19. Soho Rep, 19 Mercer St. (925-2588)

(New York Magazine, January 30, 1984)

Soho Rep - Stewart Parker's "Catchpenny Twist," with music by Shaun Davey and lyrics by Stewart Parker, about two Belfast songwriters and their signer girlfriend; directed by Peter Byrne. Thurs. & Fri. at 8; Sat. at 6 & 9:30; Sun. at 4; $8; 1/27-2/19. Soho Rep, 19 Mercer St. (925-2588)

(nytimes.com, January 27, 1984, by Eleanor Blau)

Two young Belfast songwriters, Martyn and Roy, totally apolitical and bent on making it in show business, find they can't escape the troubles of Northern Ireland in Stewart Parker's "Catchpenny Twist," which has its New York premiere tonight at 8 at the SoHo Rep, 19 Mercer Street.

There's a live band, and songs sung by Jana Schneider in a part that Patti Lupone played when "Catchpenny" received its American premiere at the Hartford Stage in 1978. The music is by Shaun Davey, the lyrics by Mr. Parker. Tickets: $8. Reservations: 925-2588. Saturday

(Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995: a research and production sourcebook, by Bernice Schrank, William W. Demastes)

Written with composer Shaun Davey, Catchpenny Twist, subtitled A Charade in Two Acts, features a songwriting duo - a Protestant composer and a Catholic lyricist - churning out catchpenny songs alternately for loyalist or for republican buddies while hoping for their big break, winning the Eurovision Song Contest. These former teachers find they can't run far enough, fast enough when warring factions discover their double game.

The play hilariously reflects the Parker/Davey creative duo, but according to Parker, also "presupposes some kind of interest in the commercial pop music industry, which turned out to be wholly lacking amongst the critics, who mainly just complained that the band was too loud."

The off-off-Broadway production at the Soho Rep, New York, February 1984, garnered quite good reviews, as well, in the New York Post, and the Village Voice.

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