On Broadway James Riordan played Frank Whitworth in Jerusalem (play) with Mark Rylance, and in The Elephant Man (play) with Billy Crudup, Kate Burton and Rupert Graves, The Daily News (New York) review of The Elephant Man called his performance "wonderful" in a "variety of roles" and from Curtain UP "The supporting cast is also well chosen, with especially good work from Jack Gilpin, and James Riordan" James Riordan's other Broadway credits are "Dance of Death" starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen and the comedy Noises Off by Michael Frayn,
Off-Broadway James Riordan portrayed Victorian art critic John Ruskin in The Countess by Gregory Murphy at both the Samuel Beckett and later the Lamb's Theatre Theater. The New York Times called the performance "excellent". And Time Out (magazine) wrote "Riordan and Woodward have a thrilling, tightly wound confidence on stage. These are two heavyweight performances" TheaterMania wrote "James Riordan gives a stunning performance in what may well be the play's most difficult role. Ostensibly playing the villain, Riordan gives his Ruskin dignity and vulnerability. He is, in the end, as much a victim as Effie. As the plot unfolds, you can see the character's arrogance as well as his shame"; and from The Star Ledger "Riordan is impressive as Ruskin, expansive to the point of tears as the critic describes a work of art that he finds beautiful, yet curiously chill when he encounters genuine emotions" The New York Press wrote of the performance ''“What impresses itself most on the mind and memory are the two central performances. – I fully appreciated the artistry in Mr. Riordan's performance as the famous art critic, evincing in the play's opening moments a kind of scholarly preening that is neither ridiculous nor unattractive, a lecture-hall combination of magnanimity and authority that keeps us wondering, long afterward, precisely what we're seeing, even if we already know the story. There's a good deal of grace and nuance in his portrait of Ruskin as a man who is moved almost to the point of tears by art, for whom Beauty and the idea of it are two separate things. And there's a chilling accuracy in the way he manages to capture the difference between the way certain men behave with their wives, and the way they talk about them with other men. But more than petulance, what we hear in his voice when he speaks of "what she was once" and "what she might be" is romance for the past and the romance of ideal possibility, and we see a man who overvalues both”'' Clive Barnes of The New York Post wrote " The play is nicely acted, with James Riordan as an appropriately smug and testy Ruskin"
Also Off-Broadway James Riordan played in the revival of Brian Friel Lovers; a pair of related one act plays "Winners" and "Losers".The New York Times called the production "expertly acted". The Associated Press wrote " Riordan is intense and funny as Andy. Brazda and Riordan share a couple of perfectly timed farcical scenes, hastily trying to make love while he frenetically shouts poetry so her mother won't ring that bell. The Wall Street Journal wrote of the performance ""What you see in "Lovers" are Mr. Friel's small-town characters, realized so fully (by Mr. Riordan and Ms.Salata in particular) that they give the impression of having been played by ordinary people. Don't be fooled, though: Mr. Barr's cast knows just what to do with Mr. Friel". The New York Post stated "Kati Brazda and James Riordan are winning as the lovers in "Losers" [their] fumbling expressions of middle-aged lust are hilarious, especially when Hanna abandons all restraint and climbs atop her lover as if he were a mountain to be scaled. The expertly comic performances add to the merriment. All told, "Losers" makes winners of its audience." Time Out wrote "Lovers is beautifully rendered by a strong ensemble (particularly Riordan as the resigned Andy and Salata as the Fiery Mag) DC Theater Scene "Riordan, in the Carney role, has everything under control. He's comfortable in the period clothes, he's got the Northern Ireland accent down pat, and he's able to be sinister and commanding one minute, and the oaf complete with pratfalls the next. A lovely performance that drives this family comedy/drama from start to finish." and CurtainUp "Riordan is especially engaging, nimbly shifting between monologues and active romps with Hanna. He battles hilariously to get Hanna away from Cissy (Cynthia Darlow), her controlling, overly religious mother. It will come as no surprise that the old battle axe is the winner in this scenario"
Other Off-Broadway work includes a revival of the rarely performed “Donogoo” by Jules Romains at the Mint Theater company. Reviewing the production, John Simon (critic) wrote “most of the actors do well, notably James Riordan as Lamendin” Talkin’Broadway wrote “Riordan plays our (anti)hero, Lamendin, to comic perfection as the character metamorphoses from a sad sack to a possessed megalomaniac “ Time Out : "The first act is witty, but wordy and meandering, and for much of it, Riordan appears to be biding his time until he can feast on the meatier delights of the second” and from Broadway World “It's to the great credit of the spirited company of actors, projection designers and French playwright Jules Romains himself, that the Mint Theater Company's new production of Donogoo always feels like something wildly funny is just about to happen.” Riordan has his amusing moments as the befuddled everyman who grows drunk with power but the whole company seems to be aching for a chance to let loose CurtainUp wrote: “Riordan handles his Lemandin's many permutations without missing a line. He segues smoothly from insecure sadsack to audacious scoundrel”
Riordan also appeared with David Eigenberg in the New York premiere of Neal Bell's surrealist play “Ready For The River” at the Home For Contemporary Theater and Art. The New York Times wrote “the play is superbly acted” and Village Voice said “James Riordan is a serio-comic standout as the motel keeper haunted by a thrifty ghost”
On television, he appears as Franklin Werner in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, in a recurring role on the final season of the television series Damages and recurring roles on the daytime soap operas As the World Turns and All My Children. He has appeared multiple times on Law & Order, Law & Order SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. James Riordan also played "James Brett" in the 2012 ABC Studios television pilot Dark Horse directed by Roland Emmerich. In 2014, he appeared as "Ian Wright" on the CBS television series The Blacklist
Riordan's Film credits include The Hoax directed by My Life as a Dog director, Lasse Hallstrom and Choose
== Filmography ==