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A Man of No Importance
Musicals

A Man of No Importance

New York, NY
John Doyle directs Jim Parsons in this much-needed revival.
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About A Man of No Importance

Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally’s acclaimed musical A Man of No Importance tells the story of an amateur theater group in 1960s Dublin and their leader, bus driver Alfie Byrne. Determined to stage a production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome despite the objections of local church authorities, Alfie confronts the forces of bigotry and shame over a love "that dare not speak its name.” This evocative and award-winning musical illustrates the redemptive power of theater, love, and friendship, all for a man of seemingly no importance.

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Emmy Award winner and The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons leads the first New York revival of A Man of No Importance, presented by Classic Stage Company. Check back for information on A Man of No Importance tickets on TodayTix.

A Man of No Importance is a musical about love and showbiz — small-town showbiz, that is. It's 1964 in Dublin, Ireland, and bus conductor Alfie Byrne leads the St. Imelda's Players amateur theatre troupe at a local church. Through art, particularly the plays of Oscar Wilde, Alfie is able to express what he cannot in words: he is gay.

When he tries to put on Wilde's Salome, though, convincing his friend and coworker Robbie (for whom Alfie has feelings) to play the lead isn't his only struggle. The church deems it blasphemous and tries to shut the production down. As he fights for the show to go on, Alfie's also fighting for acceptance, from his peers and himself, and finds it in the most unexpected places.

Before A Man of No Importance was a musical, it was a 1994 indie movie starring Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Rufus Sewell, and Brenda Fricker. Bookwriter Terrence McNally, composer Stephen Flaherty, and lyricist Lynn Ahrens adapted it for the stage in 2002. Flaherty and Ahrens are known for writing the musicals Seussical and Rocky together, and Tony Award winners Ragtime and Once on This Island with McNally. The late McNally is a five-time Tony-winning playwright and musical bookwriter known for Master Class, Love! Valour! Compassion, and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Lincoln Center Theater presented the world premiere of A Man of No Importance off Broadway with a cast including Roger Rees, Faith Prince, and Steven Pasquale. Joe Mantello directed; he would go on to helm the smash hit Wicked the following year.

In 2003, A Man of No Importance won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical and got seven Drama Desk Award nominations, including Outstanding Musical and nods for its book, lyrics, score, and direction. Since that production of A Man of No Importance in New York, the musical has been performed thrice in England, including once in London's West End, and across the U.S. However, the show has never returned to New York — until now.

Jim Parsons leads the 2022 cast as Alfie; his last New York stage gig was the Tony-winning Best Play Revival The Boys in the Band in 2018. His other Broadway credits include Harvey, The Normal Heart, and An Act of God, and his prolific screen career includes roles in Hidden Figures and Hollywood. He's best known for playing Sheldon Cooper on all 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory, earning four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe.

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What to Watch For

  • Jim Parsons is making his New York musical debut with A Man of No Importance.
  • A Man of No Importance isn't the only show this season set in 1960s Dublin. Emmy and Tony nominee Gabriel Byrne's autobiographical show, Walking With Ghosts, focuses in part on his childhood in Dublin in the 50s and 60s.
  • Oscar Wilde himself (well, his ghost) is a character in A Man of No Importance, making brief appearances as a vision to Alfie.
  • Alfie calls his friend Robbie "Bosie." "Bosie" was a nickname for Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde's real-life lover.
  • The A Man of No Importance cast features a host of acclaimed actors: Alongside Parsons are Tony nominees Mary Beth Peil, A. J. Shively, and Mare Winningham.
Run time

1 hr, 45 mins (no intermission)

Start date

October 11th, 2022

End date

December 18th, 2022

Genre

Musicals

Venue

Classic Stage Company

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