In the aftermath of the storm, his family in Queens helped with relief efforts and he was reminded of the importance of family and his neighborhood.
“They’re the unsung heroes of New York City,” said McCabe, 34, who also stars in the play. “They’re the people who keep the lights on, who run the trains and give the city life.”
The other actors and actresses in the play came from around the world to live in New York City and Queens. John Duddy, a former boxer from Ireland who now lives in Middle Village will also be starring in the play. And Emma Ishta, McCabe’s wife from Australia, is featured in the production.
McCabe went to Saint Elizabeth School on Atlantic Avenue and 85th Street, where he was surrounded by the Irish working class. And he credits the characters in the neighborhood with influencing him to become a writer.
“I was surrounded by storytellers, real characters that just knew how to tell you about things,” he said. “It’s an interesting conversation dynamic when you have the train [on Jamaica Avenue] going overhead every five minutes and you just have to stop talking for that time.”
“The Flood,” which McCabe will also direct, takes place in the East Village just as Sandy begins to loom over the city. Charlie, his character, is a bartender dealing with family troubles and a suicidal brother.
“A lot of the conflict of these characters has a lot to do with growing up in working class neighborhoods,” he said.
Though McCabe, who has relatives in Forest Hills, Woodhaven, Bayside and Richmond Hill, now lives in Brooklyn, he and his wife often go back to Woodhaven, where his mother still lives.
“Woodhaven will always be my home,” he said.
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