PRESS RELEASE: "The Best Brothers" Makes East Coast Premiere at MRT

CONTACT: Kate Brandt,
PR CONTACT PHONE: 978-654-7595
BOX OFFICE: 978-654-4678


January 8 – February 1

Lowell, MA – Daniel MacIvor’s play “The Best Brothers” quickly became a hit in Canada after its 2012 world premiere at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Merrimack Repertory Theatre will produce its East Coast premiere (and second production ever in the United States) this January, directed by Charles Towers.

The 90-minute play will run from January 8 – February 1, with press performances at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Sunday, January 11, with a reception following the evening performance.  All performances will be held at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, located at 50 East Merrimack Street in historic downtown Lowell. Tickets range from $60 - $20 and are on sale now through or by calling 978-654-4678.

In this inventive new comedy, Kyle and Hamilton Best struggle to find common ground after their mother dies in a bizarre accident at a gay pride parade. They bicker over the details of the obituary, Kyle’s unfortunate taste in men, and whom Mom loved best – only to find it may very well have been the dog.

About the Production
According to Charles Towers, MRT’s Artistic Director who will also direct the play, “I’m indebted to my Canadian friends and colleagues Seana McKenna and Miles Potter (the actor and director of Shakespeare’s Will which was produced here at MRT two years ago) for bringing this play to my attention. I read this play one morning and sought to get the rights to it that afternoon. It is rare when I laugh out loud reading a play in my living room, so I pay attention when that happens.”

After debuting at Stratford in 2012, “The Best Brothers” went on to a successful run in the fall of  2013 at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, where MacIvor is the resident playwright. The been popping up all over Canada ever since. Santa Barbara’s Ensemble Theatre Company stages the play’s American premiere this month and a late January production is scheduled in Michigan.

Cast and Creative Team
Playing the two Best brothers will be Michael Canavan and Bill Kux. Michael Canavan is returning to MRT, where he directed “Three Songs” and appeared in “A Moon for the Misbegotten”. His extensive credits also include work Off-Broadway, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and numerous other regional theatres, as well as dozens of television guest star appearances. Bill Kux is making his MRT debut. He was recently seen by local audiences in Huntington Theatre Company’s production of “Ether Dome.” He has also performed roles on Broadway, including Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man” and “The Trip to Bountiful,” in the national tour of “Death of a Salesman,” as well as Off-Broadway and in regional theatres around the country.

Playwright Daniel MacIvor, who is also an actor, played the role of Hamilton in the world premiere production. The play was inspired by his own Italian Greyhound puppy, Buddy. Daniel has written numerous award-winning theatre productions and is very well-known in his native Canada. His work has been translated into French, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, German and Japanese. He has received Canada's Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2006 for his collection of plays “I Still Love You” and in 2008 he was awarded the Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize for Theatre. He is also the recipient of a New York Village Voice Obie Award and a GLAAD Award for his play “In On It”.

Towers is joined on the creative team by Scenic Designer Bill Clarke, Costume Designer Arthur Oliver, Lighting Designer Dan Kotlowitz, and Sound Designer David Remedios.

Tickets range from $60 - $20 and are available at or by calling 978-654-4678. Senior discount 10% off adult ticket price. Student tickets $15. Group discounts are available for groups of six or more by calling 978-654-7561. $5 Night: Thursday, January 8 at 7:30 pm. Patrons may purchase tickets for $5, cash only, at the Box Office between 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Limit 2 tickets per person. Lowell Night: Wednesday, January 14 at 7:30 pm. Lowell residents may purchase tickets for $10 at the box office from 4:30 pm-7:30 pm. Proper ID required, limit 2 per person. A Military Discount of $10 off per ticket (up to four tickets per production) applies to any performance for active duty, retired, veteran, and reservist members of the military.

Special Events
Post-Show Discussions with the cast or creative team will be held following each Thursday evening performance. Each Wednesday, a Post-Show Community Discussion will occur following the evening performance. MRT partners with various organizations and individuals in the community to discuss a topic related to the themes or content of the play. On January 14 and 28, Crystal Arnott, Shelter Program Manager at the Lowell Humane Society will lead a brief discussion and Q&A. On January 21, Cathy Reed and therapy dog Phoebe from Therapy Dogs International will discuss the important role that animals can play in people’s lives.

MRT is also partnering with the Lowell Humane Society to raise awareness of the needs of shelter animals. The theatre will be accepting donations of the items most needed by the dogs waiting at LHS to be adopted.

“The Best Brothers” is supported by Production Sponsor Courier and Media Sponsor WCAP. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the 2014-15 Season is sponsored by Sage Bank.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979, and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. Under the artistic direction of Charles Towers since 2001, MRT is known for its high production standards and for creating compelling new plays and regional premieres that reflect the lives and emotions of its audiences. Sean Daniels has been tapped as the company’s fourth Artistic Director, beginning with the 2015-16 Season. MRT is one of the 74 members nationwide of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT.)

MRT 2014-15 SEASON
“Year Zero” by Michael Golamco
September 11 – October 5, 2014

“Dusk Rings a Bell” by Stephen Belber
October 23 – November 16, 2014

“13 Things About Ed Carpolotti”
Book, music and lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher
November 28 – December 21, 2014

“The Best Brothers” by Daniel MacIvor
January 8 – February 1, 2015

“Oceanside” by Nick Gandiello
February 12 – March 8, 2015

“Out of the City” by Leslie Ayvazian
March 19 – April 12, 2015

“The Outgoing Tide” by Bruce Graham
April 23 – May 17, 2015

Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678

Image Download

(Headshots available immediately, PR photos available beginning Dec. 24, production photos available beginning January 9)

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