Category: Archive

New & Noteworthy ‘Fowl’ play

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

Shove over, Harry Potter. There’s a new kid idol due to set the pre-teen literary world ablaze. And if you’re not careful, he’ll steal both your audience and your wallet.

Hogwarts (make that hogwash), you say? Well, prepare to meet Artemis Fowl, the 12-year-old master criminal created by Irish schoolteacher-turned-author Eoin Colfer. The book, also called "Artemis Fowl," will hit bookstores next week, and — this’ll thrill the 12-to-14-year-old boys out there — has been described by the author as " ‘Die Hard’ with fairies."

Colfer notes that the major difference between his hero and what’s his name in the "Potter" books is that Fowl is an out-and-out baddie.

"But he’s in the tradition of the great villains, like Professor Moriarty or The Joker," he explained.

"I’ve just elevated him from the supporting role."

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

The plot centers on Fowl’s plan to steal the fairies’ fabled hoard of gold for the benefit of his family. And before you get all gooey-eyed, we should tell you, it’s his CRIME family. Hey, the Hardy Boys this ain’t. Sounds like fun, though.

Three books are planned in the series, and Miramax Films/Tribeca Films has already optioned the first book for a cool $350,000. Foreign book publishers are trampling all over one another for the privilege of waving big fat checks under Colfer’s nose. So, is he living the high life, or what?

"I’m taking a pause," said the author, who lives in the west of Ireland with his wife and 4-year-old son. "I feel like there’s some other guy and he’s having all the luck."

Quick. Somebody pinch him.

Jean Butler, wedding belle

The hottest ticket in Ireland this month is one you can’t beg, borrow, buy or steal: an invitation to the wedding of Irish dance diva Jean Butler and fashion designer Cuan Hanly.

The pair, who met a couple of years ago during the launch of Jean’s extravaganza, "Dancing on Dangerous Ground," will wed in a small church in Mayo at the end of the month. The guest list has been kept to just 100 of the couple’s nearest and dearest. We hear that Jean’s dress will be a haute couture number by Irish designer Peter O’Brien. Though, really, anyone who’s met Jean will tell you that she could wear a paper sack and look fabulous — the girl is tall, thin and drop-dead gorgeous.

The ‘Brothers’ Mc-Married

He’s sure come a long way, baby, from his "Brothers McMullen" days. Ed Burns, the triple-threat actor/director/screenwriter will tie the knot this summer with American supermodel Christy Turlington. The wedding will take place in San Francisco, and June bride Christy will be escorted down the aisle by one of her closest friends, Bono. Yes, that Bono.

Who wants to have some manners?

It must be tough to be humble when you’ve just won a million dollars? Just ask Bernie Cullen, the latest jackpot winner from the U.S. version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

The Irish-born Cullen, who first saw the light of day in Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital, moved to Chicago with his family when he was a young boy. But, it seems, his heart never left the auld sod. He told the Sunday Mirror that after he had successfully reached the game’s $500,000 plateau, the show’s producer tried to keep him calm.

"The producer came up to me when I was on $500,000 to give me a pep talk, to tell me to take my time."

Unfortunately, the producer didn’t know that he was talking to the cockiest Irishman since James Cagney played Rocky Sullivan in "The Public Enemy."

"I just told him, ‘Don’t worry about me,’ " Cullen said.

"I was born in Ireland. I’m not one of these stupid Americans."

Cullen’s father, John, who hails from Clogher, Co. Tyrone, seems to agree.

"It must be the Irish in him that makes him so smart," said his beaming father.

Hot Gigs


If you didn’t make it to the band’s all-star album-release party last week, you can catch Irish trad favorites Cherish the Ladies next week — for free! They’ll be performing at the Esplanade Plaza in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan on Saturday, May 5, from 6:30-8 p.m. Bring your dancing shoes, because there’ll be plenty of room for cutting a rug — and, in fact, there will be a caller on hand to guide participants through some traditional dances.

What dreams may come

One of our favorite bands, The Prodigals, are riding high on the success of their latest album, "Dreaming in Hell’s Kitchen," which is starting to get heavy airplay in Ireland. They’ve been traveling around the states a lot these past few weeks (hey, someone’s gotta entertain the rest of the country) but you can catch some of their NYC-area shows: Thursday, May 3, Peggy O’Neill’s, Brooklyn; Friday, May 4, St. Lawrence University, Canton, N.Y.; Saturday, May 5, Anna Liffey’s, New Haven,; Friday, May 11, Paddy Reilly’s, NYC.


Attention, everyone who’s been e-mailing us to ask for news of the Saw Doctors: we love hearing from you, but they do have their own website, www.sawdoctors.com. Here’s what we know: the new album, tentatively titled "Villains," is due out in September, and the band will be on tour in the U.S. for two or three weeks in August, playing mostly festivals.

It’s nice to know that our elected officials have hobbies to keep them busy when they’re not arguing with each other down in Washington. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has already published his first novel, an Irish political thriller called "Terrible Beauty," and he’s hard at work on his second.

"Deliver Us From Evil," King’s new book, fill follow the adventures of a New York GOP congressman, Sean Cross, as he works to solve the murder of an IRA informer found dead in Sunnyside, Queens. King weaves in real-life figures such as former president Bill Clinton, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and, of course, the Echo’s own Ray O’Hanlon. (Hmmm . . . he must have cut out the part about the glamorous gossip columnist and woman-about-town . . . darn!) The book will be published early next year. (And Pete, you really might want to reconsider that character line-up, hmmm?)



Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese