Monday, December 12, 2016


Home is wherever the family gathers to celebrate the holidays, whether it’s in Dublin or New York City or anywhere in between.  For the extended Irish families who come to Emmett O’Lunney’s Tavern on Christmas Eve, being together, under the same roof, means everything.  When Paddy Bell and his extended clan descend unexpectedly from across the pond to the Big Apple, joy reigns supreme.

For the third installment about the Bells, look to Executive/Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard’s imagination as she creats a holiday tradition with a distinctly Irish flavor.  Until Sunday, December 18, the Ivoryton Playhouse will schedule an old fashioned holiday hootenanny “Bells of Dublin:  Part III A New York Fairytale" for your entertainment pleasure.

A tiny sprite of a bag lady Maggie (Maggie McGlone-Jennings) uses the wisdom of her many years on this earth to set the tone of this tale.  Think a Christmas stocking stuffed with corny jokes married to a merry medley of Irish and holiday songs.  Larry (Larry Lewis) and daughter Emma (Emma Hunt) are still melancholy about the recent loss of his wife and Emma’s mom so the sudden aarrival of Paddy Bell (R. Bruce Connelly), his wife Katie (Nancy Cardone) and daughters Bridie (Jenna Berloni) and Fiona (Olivia Harry), and married daughter Meg (Vanessa Vradenburgh) and hubby Michael (Michael McDermott) and baby Patrick liven up the night.

With Norm (Norm Rutty), Ted (Ted Phillips), Celie (Celeste Cumming) and Molly (Melanie Guerin) with Larry, forming a band, soon the bar is jumping with traditional fare like “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” “Silver Bells” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” among many others.

Also bellying up to the bar are Frank (David Cardone), the resident cabby, Travis (Michael Hotkowski) a frustrated Shakespearian actor, Ruby (Dyllan Vallier) a transgender entertainer and the esteemed police force represented by Officer Kelly (Vickie Blake) and Officer Cortez (Alec Bandzes).

Jacqueline Hubbard has written and directed this New York City tale where shots are fired, Cupid comes to call, gifts are purchased, hearts and wallets are opened, patrons dine on shepherd’s pie and chicken soup with matzoh balls and everyone gets into the heartwarming joy of the day.

For tickets ($35, seniors $30, students $20, children $15), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at  Performances are Wednesday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m, with matinees Saturday and Sunday and December 14th at 2 p.m.  An added treat is the spectacular fantasia of lights that illuminate the village.

The message is simple and sincere:  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and Ivoryotn Playhouse is providing all the trimmings to make your day. 

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