Kearny actor featured in NYC production

Graham Davie
Graham Davie

If you’ve been a long-time reader of this newspaper, you’ve no doubt, at one point or another, read a story about Graham Davie of Kearny. In fact, back in 2006, I wrote one of the stories when Davie landed a role on the famed/former ABC soap opera “One Life to Live.”

In addition to that, Davie has had a role on one of the longest-running TV shows on the air right now, NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” And he’s had numerous other roles in plays. But now, after a break from acting for three-plus years, Davie has landed a role he says is the biggest one yet for him.

This play’s called “Gray Horse,” and it takes place Aug. 25 to Aug. 28 at the famed Cherry Lane Theatre in Manhattan. The theater is one that has seen its share of big-name actors in the past — and some well-known stars performing there now and soon, including comedian Colin Quinn and “Daily Show” correspondent Hassan Minhaj.

The play has just two characters: Davie plays Danny and his co-star and the show’s writer, John Faughnan, plays JT.

They’re cousins, both of whom have just returned from a tour in Iraq. JT is coming off his fourth. Davie’s character Danny is coming off his first — and now that he’s home, Danny wants nothing to do, whatsoever, with the United States Marines, with whom he and JT served, and he wants nothing to do with anything remotely connected to Iraq.

Simply put, he’s home for good, he’s never returning to the Middle East — and he’s pissed about the whole ordeal of serving in Iraq.

“JT really accepts his fate and he’s trying to force Danny to do the same,” Davie said. “But Danny denies it. No more Marines. He wants to move away from it all and pretend it never happened. But that causes him to snap at JT, and let’s just say there’s some ‘turbulence’ between the two of them.”

As such, the play deals squarely with how a service member deals with the Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder that often results in a return Stateside after a tour or more overseas, especially in the Middle East.

“This was the driving force for John, when he wrote the play,” Davie said. “You just don’t hear, every day, about the PTSD these guys experience — but it’s something people need to know about. One person can come back from serving and be fine — another can come back and be a complete mess. People need to be aware of this and they need to know how to handle it.”

But that’s what separates Danny from many other servicemen and women. When he comes home, his only support system is JT. He has no one else, no place else to turn. In essence, he’s all alone.

“And to get into the role, I’ve done a lot of research,” Davie said. “I’ve watched documentaries, news clips, I’ve talked to some people who have been there — and it’s going to help me to take on this role.”

And it’s a role Davie, 25, says is the biggest he’s ever had.

“This is by far the best role I’ve ever had,” he said. “It will be emotionally demanding, a roller coaster. It’s a complex process, but it’s one I am extremely excited about.”

The High Tech High School alum says he just so happened to land the role by pure chance. His friend knew the writer, Faughnan, who had just days earlier been lamenting over how difficult it was to cast Danny’s role. The friend showed Faughnan Davie’s photo — and he wanted to meet him quickly because after he saw the photo, he was convinced he had his man so long as he could act.

And we know, by now, Graham Davie can act.

“We had coffee and said, ‘Let’s do this,’ and I had the role,” he said. “Pure chance. But I couldn’t be happier about it.”

The show runs Aug. 25 to Aug. 28 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St., in Manhattan. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. each night and tickets are available for $29. The show contains very strong language, so the theater suggests it may not be appropriate for anyone younger than 18. Buy tickets — and you should buy tickets — at or by calling Ovation Tix at 866-811-4111.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.