irish club play 2019 3

Nancy Litton, Timothy Callais Scott and David Besse, from left, star in the Baton Rouge Irish Club's 'Faith Healer,' opening Aug. 9.

The Baton Rouge Irish Club will stage one story told by three different characters when it opens Brian Friel's "Faith Healer" on Aug. 9 at Cafe Americain.

But each of the characters' accounts is quite different.

"I always say if you liked 'Gone Girl,' you'll like 'Faith Healer,'" said David Besse, who plays traveling faith healer Frank. "I'm not saying these stories are alike. It's just that they both use the same format in telling the story through different narrators."

The Irish Club's 11th annual summer play is the story of the road journey taken by Frank, who doesn't know if he possesses a gift for healing or even a belief in God.

"And really, religion doesn't even come up in the story," said Nancy Litton, who plays Frank's wife, Grace. "But it does look at spirituality and faith."

While Frank has doubts, some people attending his shows experience miracles that can be attributed only to their faith. Still, the faith healer has no illusions about his gig, even going so far as to have his manager Teddy, played by Tim Callais Scott, introduce it as a road show.

"That's what it is — a show," Besse said. "And you get three perspectives of what happens on the road. You also find out something different from each person, because they each experienced it in a different way."

It's in the compilation of the stories that the audience gets the complete picture — or as complete as possible without actually having been there.

There will be some laughter, but that doesn't guarantee a happy ending.

"We each leave out things that another character will tell about," Litton said. "Not everything that's important to one character is important to another. It's a monologue play, so we're never on the stage at the same time. And the things that are important to one character might not even be mentioned by another."

Friel is known for his plays "Dancing at Lughnasa" and "Molly Sweeney." While the "Faith Healer" premiered in 1979, Litton said it isn't set in a definite time period.

"Frank talks about how much he loves the song, 'The Way You Look Tonight,' which came out in the 1930s, but Frank likes nostalgia," she said. "It can be set in the late 1970s, but the story is really timeless."

As with past productions, Cafe Americain will serve dinner to patrons who make reservations when buying their tickets. The cost of the meal is separate from the ticket, and dinner begins 90 minutes before showtime.


'Faith Healer'

A Baton Rouge Irish Club production

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9, 10, 16, 17; 2:30 p.m. Aug. 18. Meals are optional. Dinner service begins at 6 p.m.; lunch service at 1 p.m. 

WHERE: Cafe Americain, 7521 Jefferson Highway.

ADMISSION: $15 advance, $20 at the door. Buy tickets at the restaurant, where optional reservations for dinner or lunch can be made. Meal cost is in addition to ticket.

INFORMATION: (225) 927-1626.

Email Robin Miller at romiller@theadvocate.com