On Monday, June 8, the Irish Repertory Theatre will honor William Butler Yeats with “YEATS: The Celebration,” a gala benefit on the occasion of the poet’s 150th birth anniversary. Two-time Tony winner Matthew Broderick and two-time Emmy winner Sarah Jessica Parker will host the one-night-only show, with performances by Gabriel Byrne, Olympia Dukakis, Melissa Errico, Colum McCann, Peter Gallagher, Mad Men‘s John Slattery, and more.
Performances will include “readings, dance, and music capturing the incredible beauty, wit, and poignancy of Yeats’ poetry and illuminating the poet’s legacy for Irish culture around the world.” That legacy includes the Irish Rep itself, which has presented works by and about Yeats over the years, including The Yeats Project (2008-2009), An Evening in New York with W.B. Yeats and John Quinn (2001-2002), The Yeats Plays (1996-1997), and, way back in the company’s founding season, Yeats! A Celebration (1998-1989).
Though best known for his poetry, Yeats was an avid if mostly none-too-successful playwright as well. Born on June 13, 1865 in County Sligo, the Nobel Prize winner maintained a deep love for the theatre throughout his career, returning to the dramatic form again and again. His works ranged from the relatively colloquial Words Upon the Window-Pane, his most successful play from a dramatic standpoint, to mystical-poetical works like The Dreaming of the Bones and A Full Moon in March.
The Death of Cuchulain dates from 1939, the year of the poet’s own demise.
What comes out of the mountain
Where men first shed their blood?
Who thought Cuchulain till it seemed
He stood where they had stood?
“YEATS: The Celebration” will begin at 7pm on Monday, June 8th at Town Hall, 123 West 43 St., New York City, with a dinner to follow (at Sardi’s, where else?). Single tickets which start at $100 are available online or by calling 1-800-982-2787. Premium seating packages start at $350. You can get more information by calling (212)-255-0270 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.