Paul and Sal are two beat cops working construction at a pub to earn extra money when they learn Tommy, the pub’s owner, has done a felonious favor for a member of the Irish mob that may cost him his life. Do they arrest Tommy, who they consider a friend, or try to save him from the mob?
That is the moral dilemma facing Lynn Navarra’s characters in The Sandman, her award winning play that returns to The American Theatre of Actors for a two-week run.
A real life “Westie” shot and killed outside a W. 46th St. steak house.
The Sandman was inspired by Navarra’s own police officer father who also worked construction in Manhattan on the side. In the show, Navarra creates intricate situations that put Paul and Sal to the test, navigating a thin line between what is right and wrong.
The Sandman is set in New York City in 1979, at a time when the city was flat broke and overrun by gangs and guns. It was a very different city, but Navarra says the story resonates with modern audiences. “There is still plenty of crime to go around today,” she explains. Though the notorious Irish gang of the seventies known as The Westies no longer exist, the inner and outer struggles the characters encounter in The Sandman still do.
The show premiered last summer at The American Theatre of Actors. It won the Jean Dalrymple Award for Best New Play and Ken Coughlin took home two awards for Best Director and Best Actor.
Coughlin returns for the new staged production, reprising his role as pub owner Tommy. Michael Bordwell and Ben Guralnik also return in their roles of police officers Paul and Sal.
Rounding out the cast are AJ Converse, Meredith Flood Rust, Valerie O’Hara, Brady Richards and Dan Lane Williams.
Lynn Navarra is excited to have another show playing at The American Theatre of Actors. This past January, the theatre produced her other full-length play, Leaving Lannahassee. She is currently working on a new play about Maria Callas, titled, The Price; Maria Callas’ Final Day.
The Sandman performances are August 9 - 20 (Wed-Sat @ 8pm; Sun @ 3pm) at The American Theatre of Actors (314 West 54th Street). Tickets are $20 (cash at the door). For reservations, call 212.581.3044.