Footlights

Two auspicious Broadway acting debuts and a tribute to tunesmith Irving Berlin.

 

RISING STAR

For his Broadway debut, 23-year-old Tom Glynn-Carney has a meaty role in Jez Butterworth’s “The Ferryman” with which to impress New York audiences—a role that earned him the Evening Standard’s Emerging Talent Award when the play premiered in London. Glynn-Carney describes his character, Shane Corcoran, the angry, radicalized IRA wannabe during the “Troubles between Catholic Irish Republicans and Protestant Unionists in 1981 Northern Ireland, as having his soul ripped apart by the chaos. “I want audiences to see his side of thinhgs,” he says. “Shane’s like a rocket. He could blast off at any moment. I’d like audiences to have a thought as to why that might be and not be too judgmental.” Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 342 W. 45th St., 212.239.6300, theferrymanbroadway.com

PICKING UP THE BATON—AGAIN

Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, now making his Broadway debut at age 70 in “The Band’s Visit,” knows his character, Tewfiq, very well. He starred as Tewfiq, the leader of an Egyptian police band stranded in an isolated small town in the Israeli desert, in the 2007 film on which the Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 2018 is based. Not that he was complacent when revisiting Tewfiq. “The challenge was to adjust to the stage and to the new cast,” he says. “The most exciting moment was the put-in rehearsal, with everyone watching me. ‘Who is this man? Let’s see if he can do it onstage.’ I was very grateful at the end of the first performance when the audience gave us a standing ovation. The cast also applauded me. It was very touching. Then I hugged my wife and said, ‘We’re here, and it’s going well.’ To be on Broadway is really a thrill.” Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St., 212.239.6200, thebandsvisitmusical.com

MUSIC MAN

Actor/pianist Hershey Felder specializes in one-man shows about esteemed musicians, such as Beethoven and Bernstein. His latest, “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin,” explores this nation’s greatest popular songwriter. Initially, Felder was hesitant to take on the composer of more than 1,500 songs. But when he learned that royalties from Berlin’s “God Bless America” are donated—in perpetuity—to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, he knew this was the kind of man he wanted to represent onstage. 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., 212.279.4200, 59e59.org. Thru Oct. 28, 2018