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Adams joins in ‘Binlinds’ gala

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Joseph Hurley

Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, began a 10-day fund-raising visit to the United States by dropping in on a gala performance of "Binlids" on Sunday night at the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts on Norfolk Street on the Lower East Side, where the ambitious theatrical import from Belfast has just begun an enthusiastically received two-week run.

Adams, who is portrayed in the drama, briefly but effectively, by Belfast-based actor James Doran, joined the cast for a jubilant curtain call and then distributed a number of awards and citations, including one from New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi welcoming the 28-member aggregation from Northern Ireland to the city.

The Sinn Fein leader, now a member of the new Northern Ireland Assembly, presented another trophy, hand-carved from bog oak, to Boston attorney Art McCabe, and then, calling the three youngest company members, Orla Adams, Damien Brown, and Gerard Macken, onto the stage, repeated the late Bobby Sands’s comment that "Our revenge will be the laughter of our children."

The affable and relaxed Adams, obviously in an unusually joyous mood, spoke seriously for a moment and then, to the great delight of the capacity audience, mainly standing in the open space between the production’s five elevated acting areas, told his hearers a familiar anecdote involving a confused British soldier and a local woman at a time when villagers had removed or rearranged directional signs.

Receiving no useful directions from the woman, the frustrate conscript delivered himself of the opinion that "You Irish are really stupid." We may be stupid," responded the woman, "but we aren’t lost."

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The smiling, cheering audience responded as though the story were newly minted, and adjourned to the Foundation Center’s basement for a reception which included musical performances by Terence O’Neill and Rachel Fitzgerald, both members of the "Binlids" cast, and singer-songwriter Ray Collins of the "Ellis Island Stories" cast.

A highlight of the reception was the presentation of two enormous birthday cakes to the smiling and clearly relaxed Adams, who, on Oct. 6, observed his 50th birthday.

"Binlids" which has been drawing large and enthusiastic crowds to Norfolk Street, continues its limited run at the center through Friday night of this week.

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