By Eileen Murphy
The brother and sister writing team of Martin and Marjorie Sweeney have completed their second screenplay, "Downtowner," which is a romantic comedy that takes place in an Irish bar in New York’s East Village. And, what could more appropriate than to hold a staged reading of their screenplay at Brownies Bar, East 10th Street and Avenue A, in New York City. Mark your calendars: it all happens on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 6:30 p.m.
Those of you who are familiar with Marjorie as the Echo’s former, witty (and brilliantly incisive) film critic will want to take this opportunity to catch this staged reading. Performers will include Patrick Fitzgerald, Graham Willoughby, Alyce LaTourelle, Robin Weigert, Greg Bello, Sven Holmberg, Russell Jones, Amanda Stern, Maria Stephens, Greg Rosen, Tom Ostoyich, Frank Palmer, Hank Wagner, Josie Whittlesey and Louis Moreno. Music will be provided by DJ Rai Sandow, who was the soundtrack consultant for the movies "Jackie Brown" and "The Big Lebowski."
"Downtowner" is an ensemble comedy in the tradition of films like "American Graffiti" and "Diner." Set in a neighborhood dive in New York’s East Village (not unlike Brownies), "Downtowner" is the story of two bartenders and their romantic entanglements with their regulars. Nate, the head bartender, is about to be engaged to his longtime girlfriend, but finds himself falling for favorite customer Lily, who’s on the verge of getting married herself.
Josie, Lily’s best friend and the Downtowner’s other bartender, is constantly fending off the attentions of various scoundrels and barflies whose pickup lines get only more outrageous as the night wears on.
When Lily calls off her wedding — but not the bachelorette party that was to be held that night — the Downtowner becomes the scene of romance, comedy and intrigue.
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We can’t really divulge any more — geez, there’s gotta be a little mystery — but we can pretty much guarantee that the "Downtowner" reading will be terrific. There will be a party afterwards at Brownies, with music provided by DJ Sandow and a live performance by the Young Dubliners.
For more information, or to RSVP for the event, call (212) 982-0280. Really — it’ll start your week off with a bang.
Mammy’ work is done
Those of you who’ve been up nights worrying about Anjelica Huston filming her new movie in Ireland, what with all the damp weather and presidential visits they’ve been having lately, can relax now. The elegant actress, who’s starring in as well as directing "The Mammy," has just finished up work on the film. Which means she can come in out of the cold, so to speak.
The screenplay, about life in a Dublin tenement, is based on the popular novel by comedian Brendan O’Carroll. The funnyman appears in the film, along with that erstwhile king of the lounge lizards, Tom "What’s New, Pussycat?" Jones.
Sony’s not down with OTT
It’s like, soooo unfair. Just when things were looking up for single-sex teenybopper bands in Ireland, comes the news that nasty old Sony Records has given the boot to boy balladeers OTT. Hey boys — as Black 47 put it so eloquently in "Funky Ceili": don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.
The photogenic quartet, comprising Glen Clarke, Niall O’Neill, Alan Fitzsimons and Adam Mates, came together three years ago, has set prepubescent hearts aflutter with their first album, which yielded six singles on the Irish pop charts and three in the U.K.
Industry insiders, who obviously don’t appreciate the boys’ chiseled good looks and just plain dreaminess, are predicting that this is the end of the yellow brick road for the tuneful troubadours. But though they’ve been dropped by Sony Ireland and U.K., they still have a deal with Sony Asia. Well, it’ll be interesting to see if these sons rise in the east . . .
Open mouth, insert foot . . .
It seems once we start writing about Bob Geldof, it takes weeks before we’re able to stop. This week’s news concerns Sir Bob’s current stint at a U.K. radio station, XFM.
The former Boomtown Rat is committed to doing DJ duties for the next three months, to publicize the station’s move from alternative music to a mainstream format. Well, one of Geldof’s sadder tasks last week was to inform his listeners of the death of singer Ian Dury. This came as a shock to everyone — most of all to Ian Dury, who is very much alive and promoting his latest album. Oy, Bob — did the silicon chip insider yer head get switched to overload?
He went, lassie, went
Irish President Mary McAleese knows what she likes, and he’s got dark hair, straight white teeth and a voice that could charm the birds right outta the trees. Now, before anyone accuses us of starting a risqué rumor about the notoriously conservative McAleese, we’d better tell you — quickly — that the object of her affections is none other than that dreamboat from Donegal, the squeaky clean and super sincere Daniel O’Donnell.
It seems that both the Prez and wee Daniel are touring Australia at present. When Mary was invited to be the guest of honor at a dinner in Sydney, she requested that Daniel, Daniel, and only Daniel provide the entertainment for her big day.
Daniel, of course, was more than happy to comply. He hotfooted it over to Sydney, where he serenaded a starry-eyed McAleese with old favorites like "Will You Go, Lassie, Go" — the first song played at Mary’s wedding years ago — and another one of her favorites, "Come Back, Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff." Daniel also sang the Irish national anthem in Irish for the president. Sigh.
O’Donnell’s manager, Sean Reilly, confirmed that the singer was booked "by request from President McAleese . . . [she] is obviously a fan of Daniel and was very impressed with his performance the day he sang for her at Aras an Uachtaráin." Geez, next thing you know she’ll be queuing up for tea at his home in Kincasslagh.
Irish actress attracts ‘Full Monty’ attention
First it was Sheffield strippers exposing their, er, unmentionables. Now it’s Irish matchmakers uncovering the inexpressible.
OK, so the grammar’s a stretch. What we really mean to say is that the filmmakers who gave us "The Full Monty" (no, not literally, silly) will be making a film in Ireland about a matchmaking festival, and they’ve cast Donegal actress Cathleen Bradley to star opposite Sean McGinely.
The cast and crew have started filming in Dungloe. Bradley describes the movie as "an Irish comedy with a difference."
It’s about a group of men in a small town who organize a matchmaking festival," she told the Sunday World. "They invite some ‘babes’ from Miami so they can get up the local girls’ noses."
Now that alone sounds like knee-slapping comedy to us, but there’s more.
"Unfortunately, the American girls never show, so the guys turn to the local girls and realize that they really do love them."
Oh. How sweet.