Category: Archive

Editorial: Ireland on stage

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

New York theatergoers never seem to get enough of Brian Friel. They flock to see plays that have been here before, such as his 1979 "Aristocrats," which played to rave reviews and packed houses last July at the Lincoln Center Festival. And, of course, they eagerly await his U.S. premieres, the latest of which, "Give Me Your Answer, Do!" takes place this week Off Broadway in a Roundabout Theatre Company production at the Gramercy Theatre.

Whether the plays are commercial successes, as was the acclaimed "Dancing at Lughnasa," or box-office failures, like "Wonderful Tennessee," audiences know they’ll get something of considerable artistic merit from Friel. Indeed, Friel, like all great artists, may take chances and thus risk failure, but in his effort he rarely disappoints. So, like so many others in New York, we eagerly await the critical response — from professionals as well as audiences — to "Give Me Your Answer, Do!"

But Friel’s play isn’t the only Irish offering currently on New York stages. There is also Don Creedon’s new comedy, "Celtic Tiger (Me Arse)," which is being performed at the Irish Arts Center, and "Invasions and Legacies," by Tommy Makem, at the Irish Repertory Theatre.

This certainly isn’t the first time so many Irish or Irish-themed productions have been in New York at one time. In fact, this has been a fairly regular occurrence the last several years. What distinguishes this particular crop is how well they reflect the breadth and diversity of the current Irish stage. Friel returns to his fictional Ballybeg to explore human relationships and the fragility of dreams. Creedon offers an at once humorous and poignant look at the plight of returned emigrants to Dublin. And Makem mixes narrative and music to celebrate the mythological history of Ireland.

Three Irish plays within a couple of miles of each other. Sounds like the makings of an enjoyable long weekend.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese