Glittering celebration at New York’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival
Running through September 2-29 the shows will feature established and emerging Irish playwrights throughout the city
In the classroom other children were much less enamored of being studied so closely and Kelly’s problems only began to find a resolution when a school nurse discovered she was practically blind at the age of 7.
Always a provocative mix of American and Irish productions, this year’s series also includes Marianne Driscoll’s McGoldrick’s Thread, a touching about Irish immigrants in the Bronx.
Originally hailing from Clonmel, County Tipperary in Ireland, these days the family have settled into in a small apartment in the Bronx to raise their five children. We learn that the youngest and only daughter Magee is a competitive Irish Step dancer with a big feis (festival) ahead of her in the morning. The play unfolds as a journey leading Magee to believe in herself and in her quest to make her dreams come true, both in dance and in life.
Now if you’re the sort who believes that we’re living in a ghastly new age of coarseness and stupidity have I got a play for you. Dan McCormick’s The Morons arrives right on time to skewer our celebrity-obsessed culture and the faux reality spectacles that nightly pollute our TV screens.
There was a time when you needed talent to become a successful artist. Nowadays you just need a sex tape and the inability to ever blush. It’s an era ripe for satire and McCormick surpasses himself in this highly relevant and hilarious new show.
Other highlights from the festival include Dublin playwright Anto Nolan’s bracing bit of truth telling in A Lady Is Waiting, starring Fiana Toibin. Toibin is the daughter of the legendary Dublin actor and raconteur Niall and she’s adept at finding the heroic in the everyday in a way that makes this show one of the hottest tickets.
The Compass Rose by Ronan Noone is set in a pub and will be performed in one too (Ryan’s Daughter, as it happens). Tiffany and Irish bartender Donal have intertwined pasts and mixed feelings for each other too. When they meet up again a decade after parting, they realize that their journey may be far from over. Noone writes nimbly about what matters most, love and what it makes of us.
Other sure to be sell out events include Journey’s End, a documentary film that follows former US Senator George Mitchell as he returns to Northern Ireland with his 14-year-old son Andrew to discover how life has changed for people there since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
Mitchell narrates and will later be present for a question and answer session with National Book Award winner Colum McCann that will moderated by Loretta Brennan Glucksman.
Another 1st Irish special event will be Belfast To Boston, an unmissable discussion on Irish and Irish American heritage by two celebrated Irish authors who’ll discuss their experiences growing up in Southie and in the glare of the Northern Irish conflict.
Colin Broderick and Michael Patrick grew up world’s apart but unmistakably Irish, and in their join night of truth telling at The American Irish Historical Society they’ll lay out what they’ve discovered on their journeys.
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