Brona Crehan may not be the first playwright to cause a splash in Irish literary circles, she may not even be the first New York-based writer to contribute a ripple or two to the great raging ocean that is Irish drama. She is however, one that is making some considerable waves these days as far as writing and performing in the Big Apple is concerned. And yes, we’re aware that we’ve used a lot of water-based references, but you see, we had them left over from when we reviewed that short-lived ‘Orange Submarine’ extravaganza a few weeks back. Anyway, Brona’s play, ‘Pillow On The Stairs’, currently showing at The Cell (338 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenue), an eagerly-awaited production directed by John Keating (and starring Brona, Jacqueline Kealy and John McConnell), has proven to be an exciting performance fully deserving of its rave reviews, with many attendees already looking forward to this compelling writer’s next work. ‘Pillow on the Stairs’ is playing February 18,19,20,25,26,27 & 28, and all shows for the hour-long performance are at 7pm. For tickets, call (800)838-3006, or online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1165222. Brona, welcome to At The Mike Stand.
By Michael Fitzpatrick.
What would you like your own tribute act to be called?
Queen. Oh, wait a minute – that’s been done – right?
What song would you most like to have written?
‘The Long and Winding Road’. Sad songs are my thing. Cheaper than going to therapy! I also wouldn’t mind being responsible for (what turned out to be) The Beatles’ last hit.
Who’s your favorite namesake?
There aren’t that many Bronas around. Can I pass on that one? I never liked my name growing up because it was unusual and I always had to repeat it when someone asked me my name. Now I love it because of its uniqueness. I did like Bronagh Gallagher in The Commitments though.
Who’s your favorite character from literature?
Hedwig, Harry Potter’s owl. I love owls, I think they are beautiful, especially the snowy owls. Hedwig means female warrior in Norwegian I believe. Sounds good to me!
What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?
Greece, although I haven’t been yet. I’ve been promised a trip for my 50th – quite a few years away of course, but no doubt it will be here before I know it. I was supposed to go for my 40th but had a three month old baby at that point so that sort of put a different spin on things.
Who would you most like to meet/have met?
Can I change that slightly? To who would I like to meet again? I’d like to see my dad again. There are so many things I would say to him and tell him if I had my time over. I’d give anything for him to be able to meet my two little men.
When’s the last time you laughed out loud?
This morning, my kids crack me up every day.
What act would you like to have seen perform live?
I’d love, love, love to have seen Elvis live in Vegas. Or Les Dawson, apparently he always wanted to be featured on “An Audience With…’ but died before he could. In 2013 he appeared on it as a hologram! It was very clever and cool.
What team(s) do you support?
You don’t know me at all do you? There’s a Liverpool supporter in my house. My husband is a fan. The boys are getting interested now too and curse at the TV just as much as he does.
What period in history would you most like to have visited?
1950’s Hollywood. My idea of and desire to live in the US was formed by watching American movies as a kid. I was fascinated by the stars of the 50s, Ava Gardner, Vivien Leigh, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Gary Cooper, James Mason, Robert Mitchum (my favorite actor), Richard Burton – all of them. I’d love to have been around then.
Who or what, would make you leave a room?
I don’t know really. I’m curious by nature so not sure who or what would get my goat enough to make me leave a room. I suppose if someone insulted me or my family, I might leave.
Have you ever walked out on a movie?
No. I wanted to walk out of a few but didn’t because I was with other people. Nightmare on Elm Street is one, I hated it. I’m showing my age now, aren’t I?
What movie/TV/literature can you identify with?
Marge Simpson, the strong matriarch and because her full name is Marjorie Jacqueline Simpson (nee Bouvier)! And it helps that she just doesn’t age..
What movie role would you like to have played/play?
Cleopatra in the movie or Wonder Woman in the TV show. Or the bionic woman maybe.. You’ve figured out how old I am now – haven’t you?
Who do people say you look like?
When I wore my hair long I was told I looked like Monica Lewinsky, Rosie O’Donnell and Linda Carter. Now that it’s short, some people have said Victoria Beckham. I’m fine with Wonder Woman.
What’s the first album you remember buying?
‘Nightflight to Venus’ by Boney M. To be more accurate, it was bought for me. I wanted the soundtrack to Grease but my mum was a Boney M fan so we got ‘Nightflight to Venus’. It grew on me, eventually.
Who’s your favorite Beatle?
I go through phases on that one. Sometimes John and sometimes Paul. John was the more intellectual of the two I think whereas Paul might have had the edge on the upbeat hits. Together they were dynamite. I don’t know, it’s a toss-up between the two.
What’s your favorite Christmas song?
‘Same Old Lang Syne’ by Dan Fogelberg. More so because I believe it is autobiographical.
Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?
My granny, Moll. She lived to be 102 and just passed away in 2013. I miss her every day. She was great and had a huge influence on me. She was very with it even up until she died, had her own cellphone and knew her way around it. I’d say she’d have been good with email too if her cataracts didn’t give her trouble.
What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?
Megan Traynor. My 8 and 6 year old sons love it when I don’t change the station when she comes on.
What book can you read again and again?
No book. I just can’t. Once I’ve read it, I’ve read it.
Who Would Be In Your Supergroup?
Depends on what you mean by Supergroup. If it is a collection of super people then I would have to say my hubby, my kids, my mum, siblings and my good friends, that’s all I need. If it is a pop group then I’d take Sam Smith, Lennon and McCartney, Annie Lennox and me. Ah, go on, throw Megan Traynor in there too, just to make it an even mix.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
Pretty much the same scenario as the book option. I find it hard to read/watch something I already know about.
Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
I must be the weirdest person. I don’t like cartoons. My brother loved Tom and Jerry as a kid and I hated it. They used to stress me out, one trying to kill the other and the other one trying to outwit him. Terrible. I was a very anxious child because of those two!
What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?
What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?
What actor would play you in a movie about your life?
This is a total vanity fest isn’t it? Hmm… My life had better get a bit more interesting before the movie guys come calling. BUT, if someone did, then Sandra Bullock please.
Who is the most irritating character in literature/movies/television history?
Spongebob. I hate the little fecker.