Huntington High School junior Declan Byrne is in the cast of the Off-Broadway production of McGoldrick’s Thread at Theatre 80 at 80 Saint Marks Place in Manhattan. The teenager was cast as an actor/dancer.
The show is a musical that features remarkable Irish step dancing. It earned a positive review from The New York Times. “If I had anything harsh to say about McGoldrick’s Thread, I probably wouldn’t say it,” wrote Ken Jaworowski in his theater review. “This charming musical, featuring a troupe of talented teenage and pre-teenage dancers, wants nothing more than to show you a nice time, and it does. Anyone criticizing it sharply should be branded a sourpuss.”
“Declan is a talented singer who has been in SCMEA festivals every year since he started high school,” said Veronica S. Mainville, a Huntington High School music teacher and director of choral activities. Mr. Byrne played the part of Friedrich to perfection in last spring’s Huntington drama club production of The Sound of Music. It was his first musical. The teenager played the role of Mr. Hopper in the fall 2012 high school production of Lady Windermere’s Fan.
Mrs. Mainville and Michael Schwendemann, a Huntington English teacher and the school’s drama school advisor saw McGoldrick’s Thread last Sunday night.”We were amazed by these young dancers and actors who put on a wonderful show,” Mrs. Mainville said. Mr. Byrne has been singing with the Huntington’s chamber choir for the past two years.
“McGoldrick’s Thread is the story of the O’Reilly family, who left home in Clonmel, Ireland and settled in a small apartment in the Bronx to raise their four children,” according to the show’s website. “The youngest and only daughter, Magee, is a competitive Irish Step dancer with a big Feis (a traditional Gaelic arts and culture festival) in the morning. The story takes place over a weekend, with a colorful flashback to Ireland, revealing trials, tribulations, triumphs, love and humor of the O’Reilly and McGoldrick families. In their small apartment with brothers, commotion and unanswered questions, Magee learns to believe in herself and what it takes to make her dreams come true, in dance and life.”
Readers of The New York Times who saw the musical were overwhelmingly positive in the comments the submitted for positing on the newspaper’s website.
“A must see for anyone who’s Irish – and if you’re not, it’ll make you wish you were,” wrote one reader that attended a performance of McGoldrick’s Thread. “We loved this show. It has it all. A storyline of family, love and tradition that will make you laugh out loud and cry; Music that both lyrically and melodically was touching, captivating and addictive; Dancing that made you want to jump out of your seat and join in (even if there is no way you could EVER dance like that!) We wanted to see and hear more after the curtain closed.”
“Thunderous step dancing kicks McGoldrick’s Thread into high gear in a number of scenes,” states the musical’s website. “Top level dancers from five Irish dance schools from New York and Ohio are among the cast. Two renowned dancer/choreographers, Jason Oremus (lead) and Garrett Coleman (also a two-time World Champion) who have appeared in Riverdance and also developed a breakthrough new dance concept with their dance group, Hammerstep, were recently featured on America’s Got Talent. McGoldrick’s Thread is filled with electrifying energy from start to finish.”