Smash may be canceled, but Debra Messing will still be hanging out in the theater district. Come January, she’ll make her Broadway debut in the world premiere play Outside Mullingar, a romantic comedy from writer John Patrick Shanley and director Doug Hughes, the Tony-winning team behind Doubt. In the limited 11-week engagement, Messing will star opposite Brian F. O’Byrne, a Tony winner for Frozen whose four additional nominations include Doubt. They’ll play two introverted, eccentric neighbors in rural Ireland. He’s shy and prefers cattle to humans, and she’s determined to have him — even if his father is threatening to disinherit him and a land feud is brewing between their families. It’s billed as an “Irish Moonstruck.” Shanley also won an Oscar for penning that screenplay.
This is Shanley’s 10th play with the Manhattan Theatre Club. Previews begin Jan. 2 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with opening night scheduled for Jan. 23.