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Get Your Irish Up

Michael Cerveris, Melissa Errico, Kate Mulgrew, Austin Peck, Ronan Tynan, Christopher Walken and more help audiences celebrate St. Patrick.

Melissa Errico in Candida
(Carol Rosegg)
It's only fitting that March theatrical fare has a definite touch of the Irish, with several shows written by Irish playwrights and/or featuring Irish themes, as well as a couple of special events that pay homage to the Celtic culture. So, here are a few suggestions for those who want to celebrate St. Patrick in their own fashion.

Among the great Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw's many masterworks is Candida, now being presented by the Irish Repertory Theatre in a production featuring Melissa Errico in the title role, alongside Xanthe Elbrick, Josh Grisetti, Brian Murray, Ciaran O'Reilly, and Sam Underwood. The play tells the story of Reverend James Morell (O'Reilly), whose comfortable marriage to Candida (Errico) is shaken by the arrival of the young poet, Marchbanks (Underwood). While the men compete for her affections, they forget the fact that Candida -- like so many of Shaw's female characters -- is her own woman.

A Behanding in Spokane, the renowned Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's first American-set play, is on view at Broadway's Schoenfeld Theatre. In this black comedy, Academy Award winner Christopher Walken plays Carmichael, a man who has been searching for his missing hand for close to 50 years. In a seedy hotel room, he comes into contact with two not-so-bright con artists out to make a few hundred bucks and an overly curious clerk. Fellow Irishman John Crowley directs the show, which also stars Sam Rockwell, Zoe Kazan, and Anthony Mackie.

An Evening of Celtic Music comes to Carnegie Hall on Friday, March 12. The beloved Irish tenor Ronan Tynan and former Celtic Woman star Méav headline this concert, which features The New York Pops (led by music director Steven Reineke), along with celebrated fiddler Liz Knowles, Uilleann piper Kieran O'Hare, and Darrah Carr Dance. Among the selections to be performed are traditional Irish anthems such as "My Irish Molly O'," "Dúlamán," and "The Fields of Athenry," as well as present-day favorites like Bill Whelan's "Riverdance" and U2's chart-topping hit "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

If you're looking for some laughs, consider The Irish Curse, which begins Off-Broadway performances at the Soho Playhouse on March 17, and centers on a group of Irish-American men who meet each week at a self-help group for men with small penises. The cast features Dan Butler, Roderick Hill, Scott Jaeck, Brian Leahy, and Austin Peck.

Finally, on March 17, Project Shaw's 2nd Annual GTG St. Patrick's Day Gala at The Players Club will feature Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris, along with George S. Irving, Charlotte Moore, Kate Mulgrew, Jane Powell, Michael Riedel, Diane Stilwell Weinberg, and Tom Viola. This one-night event will include scenes and snippets from Shaw's works -- performed as you've never seen them before -- along with a traditional Irish dinner, complete with corned-beef and cabbage, lamb stew, greenie pie, and puddings!


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