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A Man of No Importance

Music by Lynn Ahrens • Lyrics by Stephen Flaherty

Book by Terrence McNally

Department of Musical Theatre

November 17-19, 2016 • Arthur Miller Theatre



In 1964 Ireland, affable Dublin bus conductor Alfie Byrne is on a collision course with his true nature. Entranced by a new passenger, Adele, Alfie naively chooses to stage Oscar Wilde’s Salomé in his church hall with her as the lead. Alfie’s sister Lily is encouraged by his interest in the mysterious Adele, for his sister has been putting off her own life in order to get Alfie married first. Through Adele, Alfie discovers his personal passion, which drives him to follow precariously in the footsteps of Wilde. The inspired Alfie decides to ‘love who you love’ just as the church authorities discover the salacious nature of Wilde’s play, shattering his once-sheltered world, leading him ultimately to the redemptive power of theatre, community, and love.

This moving, elegant depiction of coming to terms with oneself reunites the award-winning team from Ragtime -Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty. Wanting to work on a more intimate scale, McNally suggested adapting the 1994 film, A Man of No Importance. “It touches on what makes us human, what brings us together in community, what makes us forgive,” states Ahrens. The musical opened Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center in September 2002 for a limited run, earning the 2003 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best-Off-Broadway musical. Filled with lilting Irish music and wry humor, A Man of No Importance is “a small, lovely musical that touches the heart [and] brings a smile to your lips.” (Lowell Sun)




A Man of No Importance graphic image

Image courtesy Music Theatre International

Artistic Staff


Director Vincent J. Cardinal
Music Director Catherine A. Walker
Scenic Designer Anton Volovsek
Costume Designer Michayla Van Treeck
Lighting Designer Abbey Kojima, Rob Murphy
Stage Manager Sara Burgess


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower