I've been looking for an opportunity to catch this for years now, and here at long last is a chance. :-)
After receiving critical acclaim and overwhelming demand by sold out New York audiences, Larry Kirwan’s Stephen Foster musical ‘Hard Times’ will extend performances thru Sunday, February 16th at The Cell, A Twenty First Century Salon (Founding Artistic Director, Nancy Manocherian) (338 West 23rd Street).
The production will play the following additional performances: Feb. 6 – 16, Wed. - Sat. at 8:00 p.m. and Sun. at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 and are available online at www.thecelltheatre.org or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
Set in a saloon in Lower Manhattan’s notorious Five Points in 1863, Hard Times combines the story of America’s first great songwriter Stephen Foster and a neighborhood under siege and about to explode with ethnic frictions that will determine the destiny of contemporary New York. Through a re-imagining of Stephen Foster's songbook, combined with new music material by Mr. Kirwan, Hard Times explores New York City Civil War tensions with a modern musical and dramatic sensibility.
"By the end of the evening, the audience is up, cheering and stamping. In “Hard Times,” Mr. Kirwan has not only delivered a knockout entertainment, he’s done a public service, reacquainting us with the Foster songbook and the striving, teeming America for which it was written." -- New York Times
"Hard Times at the Cell in Chelsea is a chamber sized musical with a heart and soul bigger than any Broadway show."
Hard Times was originally produced as part of the 2012 1st Irish Theatre Festival. Produced and curated by Artistic Director George Heslin, the annual September festival is a celebration of the best of Irish theatre.