Sunday, May 26, 2013
"A COUPLE OF BLAGUARDS" WILL DELIGHT WITH IRISH WIT
With blarney and blather and even a wee bit of blashemy, the Brothers McCourt, Frank and Malachy, have penned an Irish tale about themselves entitled "A Couple of Blaguards." New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre is offering up this charming and irreverent series of vignettes and anecdotes, songs and limericks, about their life growing up poor and Catholic in the Emerald Isle and their fate after crossing the pond to the promised land.
Until Sunday June 2, you will laugh and titter and guffaw as the talented antics of Howard Platt as Malachy and Jarlath Conroy as Frank take you on an autobiographical journey of all things McCourt. Kissing the Blarney Stone is strictly your choice.
First raise a pint of stout and drink to the health of these two dauntless lads who rose above the poverty of their childhood in the oldest city in Ireland, Limerick, a handsome and holy city where seven siblings crowded into the home at the end of School House Lane. With colorful images and picturesque phrases, the adventures of the boys are revisited. Proper respect is paid to Frank's First Communion, "the happiest day of my life," where he donned a black velvet suit and new shoes and experienced God in unexpected ways.
The quaint storytelling includes visits from Mr. Higgins who came once a week to collect pennies for the life insurance and visits to the library where Malachy took out his first book, one on operas, and how the pair formally conducted contests on who made the best insulting remarks.
Off to America, the two brothers engaged in a variety of jobs, Frank finally settling in as a teacher after attending New York University and Malachy becoming a saloon owner and actor. From the dance halls to the drinking holes, they caroused and dappled in activities bordering on the criminal. Through it all, they never lost their sense of the ridiculous and here as a couple of blarney-laced blokes and rogues, with equal parts charm and mischief, they share it all. Howard Platt directs this rollicking romp with spirit.
For tickets ($40), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at www.longwharf.org. Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. On Friday, June 7, "Mandy Patinkin: Dress Casual" a fundraiser at 6 p.m. and concert at 8 p.m. will be held. For more information on the Gala, call the box office.
Take this opportunity to visit Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, 3011 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, open Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit www.ighm.org or call 203-582-6500 for more information.
Take a lesson in learning to laugh at your troubles. It won't make them go away but it will soften the rough and tough edges and make them easier to swallow.