Sunday, November 16, 2014


 Being drunk on Christmas Eve is not a necessary event but it often helps survive the holiday.  Just ask the scruffy blokes who inhabit the space that could pass for a flat in the seamy side of Dublin where lumpy and bumpy seem to characterize their existence. Plop yourself down, if you dare, on that well used sofa, being careful to not fall on the legions of discarded liquor bottles and beer cans strewn about for color.  Martha Stewart is not coming any time soon and don't look for anything too cheery to boast about for the Christmas holiday.

The flat is peopled with a sad lot of humanity, mostly drunk and hardly ever sober.  Enter the world craftily created by Conor McPherson in his play “The Seafarer,” being brought to entertaining life by the New Haven Theater Company from November 20-22, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
 One of Ireland’s best known contemporary playwrights, McPherson has skillfully drawn a motley crew of characters with his sharpened quill.  It’s Christmas Eve and what better way to celebrate the savior’s birth then with a bottle or three of whiskey and a rousing game of poker.  The stakes for the game are exceptionally high, even if most of the players are clueless.
 Jim Lones is wonderfully wrapped in the role of Richard, a curmudgeon recently blinded in a freak accident, who loves to make his brother “Sharky” (J. Kevin Smith) dance to his piper’s tune.  Their poor friend Ivan (Steve Scarpa) seeks refuge  at their place, to give himself time to sober up and only manages to make his home situation mountains worse. He is clearly afraid to face his wife Karen and his children. To stir up a little fun and mischief,  Richard invites his brother’s nemesis Nicky (Peter Chenot) over to share a brew, the man “Sharky” blames for much of his disappointing life and Nicky, in turn,  introduces a stranger into their pathetic Christmas pageant.  Will the unknown Mr. Lockhart (George Kulp) be Scrooge or Santa or someone altogether different?
 Deena Nicol-Blifford directs this Irish tale, peppered as it is with salty language, with a firm and steady hand and a fine cast of talented blokes.
For tickets ($20), contact The New Haven Theater Company  online at
The theater is located inside the English Building Markets, 839 Chapel Street, in downtown New Haven.  This is the second anniversary at its new home.

Pull up a chair, drink a drop of Irish in honor of the holiday and ante up for a spirited game of chance where you may lose or win much more than you bargained to wager.

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