For a wee bit of Irish blarney with your Christmas cheer, look no further than the Ivoryton Playhouse until Saturday, December 22 as "The Bells of Dublin," an original holiday offering conceived and directed by Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard is offered.
Set in a Dublin inn and bar owned and managed by the Bell family, you're welcome to order a pint of ale and settle back by the fireplace for some good cheer. Michael (Michael McDermott) is your genial host and bartender who is anxiously awaiting his wife Meg to give birth to their first child, while other family members are busy with their own concerns.
Fiona (Olivia Harry) is awaiting a letter to secure her place as queen of the local parade, while her sister Bridie (Janna Berloni) is busy sneaking make-up to wear and money to buy presents from her dad, Paddy. Paddy (R. Bruce Connelly) is just back from entertaining the orphans in his get-up as Superman. Hard to believe but this grand super hero is unable to catch a little mouse that has taken up residence at the inn. His wife Katie (Nancy Cardone) is busy hanging holiday decorations and buying last minute gifts as a storm approaches.
The inn's guests from America (Larry Lewis, Ted Phillips, Norm Rutty and Grace Carver) had come for a music competition but were unable to get to the airport, due to a combination of bad weather and even worse accommodations in Frank O'Rafferty's (David Cardone) poor excuse for a car. When a trio of orphans who are carolers (Carson and Mason Weldon and Tyler Felson) arrive, the guest house is full up with merry makers happy to sing Christmas in with glee.
As Paddy spins his yarns of leprechauns, he realizes that this is a momentous moment, the night that Brian, King of Ireland, is scheduled to return to claim his beloved fiddle. The fiddle has been hung on the wall of the inn, lo these past fifty years, being guarded by the Bells.
While all the shenanigans occur, a steady stream of wonderful music from both sides of the pond is sung and played on piano, guitar, fiddle, banjo, penny whistle and even bagpipes, arranged by Melanie Guerin, with the additional help of Angela Lamb and Louise Muller. Emotional numbers like "Danny Boy" and "Feel Like Going Home" are balanced by the livelier tunes like "O'Rafferty's Motor Car," "Must Be Santa" and "Finnegan's Wake."
For tickets ($30, students $20, $15 children), call Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Join the Bells and their guests as they welcome in the holidays with a little mystery and a whole lot of merry making in the music and dance departments.