Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00
On Saturday, Aug. 11 the Plattduetsche Park Restaurant will host a Long Island premiere performance of the off-Broadway hit, Kid Shamrock, a play written by Bobby Cassidy, Jr. based on the life of his dad, ex-contender, Bobby Cassidy, Sr.
“I think anyone who loves drama will love the play and the fights; boxing is so dramatic in itself and a play about fighters only lends itself to further drama,” Cassidy, Jr. told Anton Newspapers.
The cast and crew of the play, Kid Shamrock will deliver this special encore performance, based on the life and career of the former No.1 light heavyweight contender Bobby Cassidy, Sr., a lifelong Levittown resident. Patrick Joseph Connolly, also of Levittown, will star in the show. Connolly is most recently known for his appearance in the final 2007 episode of The Sopranos.
Cassidy, Jr. told Anton Newspapers, “The story of Kid Shamrock, of Bobby Cassidy, is important because he was a person who overcame so much in his life. He grew up with a very abusive stepfather. He drank for many years. And yet he forged on in the ring and in life. It’s a story about hope.”
Bob Duffy’s Ring Promotions and Winner Take All Productions are combining for an exclusive afternoon of boxing entertainment.
“We are very proud to have the Long Island premiere of Kid Shamrock kicking off our next boxing event,” said Duffy. “The show has had three successful runs Off Broadway. To bring this play outdoors, coupled with the bouts we are going to have, it’s going to be a fight fan’s dream.”
Kid Shamrock, based on the life and career of Long Island’s Bobby Cassidy, has gained notoriety because of its authenticity. Half the cast is made up of former world-class professional boxers. Among them are Mark Breland (Olympic gold medalist, two-time welterweight champ), John Duddy (IBA middleweight champ), Seamus McDonagh (fought Evander Holyfield), Mark McPherson (world-ranked junior middleweight) and Junior Jones (five-time champ).
“He has been very supportive,” Cassidy, Jr. said, adding that his father loves the final product of Kid Shamrock. “He hopes that his story can convey to other people that they can overcome their circumstances—whatever they might be—as well.”
The cast also includes, Cassidy Sr. (Rocky), Vinny Vella (The Sopranos, Casino) and Connolly (The Sopranos). After the show, meet and greet all the actors and former fighters.
The performance will precede an outdoor live boxing extravaganza, the inaugural “Shamrock in the Park” event. Following the play directed by former heavyweight champion, Michael Bentt, two title bouts will take place in the courtyard.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said former heavyweight champion Michael Bentt, director of Kid Shamrock. “I’ve seen some of these prospects fight and I am telling you the future looks bright for them. The cast is ready, the fighters are ready, don’t miss this.”
Headlining the boxing card is a pair of regional title fights. The first is a New York State junior middleweight title bout between Brooklyn’s Cindy Serrano and Little Rock’s Kerri Hill. In the main event of the evening, Oceanside’s lightweight sensation, Michael Brooks (7-0) will fight Brooklyn’s Jonathan Cuba for the IBA Eastern lightweight belt.
“The sport of boxing is very cyclical. Over the past century, [the interest] goes up and down, but someone always comes along to invigorate the sport, whether it’s Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard or Mike Tyson, someone comes along,” Cassidy, Jr. said. “Some people may think boxing is crude, but these fighters are incredible athletes; they have incredible agility, stamina, perseverance.” He added, “A boxing match is the ultimate test of an athlete.”
The boxing card also includes some of the best young fighters in New York. Undefeated light welterweight Emmanuel Lartei “Bukom Joe” Lartey (12-01, 7 KOs) meets Constantin Florescu (11-2) in an 8-rounder. Former National amateur champion Adam Willet (3-1-1), of Bellport meets New Jersey cruiserweight Elvin “KoKo” Sanchez (4-2, 3 KOs), New Hyde Park welterweight Rich “Kid Brazil” Neves (4-0-1, 3 KOs) will fight in a six-rounder and Albanian sensation Skender Halili (5-0, 5 KOs) meets former Golden Gloves champ Jason Thompson in a junior middleweight bout.
“This event reminds me of the old Carnival of Champions,” said David Schuster, executive producer of Kid Shamrock. “We have title fights, we have former champions performing on stage. There will be music, good food. It’s as close to a boxing block party as you will ever get.” All fights and fighters are subject to change.
When asked what’s next for Kid Shamrock, Cassidy, Jr. said, “David Schuster, the executive producer, is determined to keep the play going; so I believe we’ll be back on stage by early next year.” He hinted that there has been talk of a movie adaptation. “Kevin Connolly is very interested and he’s been very supportive of the project.”
Plattduetsche Park Restaurant is located at 1132 Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at: http://www.brownpapertickets. com/event/259362/
—Christy Hinko contributed to this story.