Aire Theater presents "A Couple of Blaguards"

6:54 PM, Mar 19, 2013   |    comments
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The Irish are great storytellers, and among the best are raconteurs and authors Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes) and his brother Malachy (A Monk Swimming). Before the publication of their books, the McCourts had written and performed in A Couple of Blaguards, a devilishly delightful show in which they share memories of their childhood in Limerick and their experiences coming to America.

AIRE (American Irish Repertory Ensemble) will be keeping the spirit of St. Patrick's Day alive with the presentation of A Couple of Blaguards March 21-April 7 at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage Company, 25A Forest Avenue in Portland. AIRE favorites Paul Haley and Tony Reilly, as the brothers McCourt, play multiple roles in this charming entertainment, which features plenty of humor, heart, and song-as well as a dance or two. The production is directed by AIRE's Artistic Director Tony Reilly, and Corey Gagne is Associate Director.

While Angela's Ashes takes a serious look at the McCourts' childhood, A Couple of Blaguards offers a more "Limerick Light" perspective on the material. Malachy McCourt says of the piece, "This show is the result of Frank and myself listening to the stories of our elders, which in turn tunes the ear, the eye and the tongue to observe and give voice to even the most trivial of events. I think we had more fun than anyone writing and performing Blaguards, which has become an affectionate term for the rowdy, outgoing and sometimes drinking sort of boys." Critics have applauded the play as "fast moving and furious fun" with "roguish appeal" and "an unholy amount of charm."

Frank and Malachy McCourt were born to Irish parents in Brooklyn, NY; their family returned to Ireland when they were young boys. Both McCourts came back to America when they were in their early 20's and made their lives here. Frank was a high school teacher, and later in life became a celebrated author who wrote three books, most notably the memoir Angela's Ashes, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize. He died in 2009. Malachy had a checkered career as an actor, radio talk show host, politician, and writer. He has been credited with founding the first singles bar in America, Malachy's of Third Avenue in New York.

A Couple of Blaguards will be performed Thursday and Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 8:00, Sunday at 2:00 (no performance March 31), and Wednesday, March 27, at 7:30. There will be a discussion with the cast after the matinee on Sunday, March 24, led by Bob Lyons, Instructor of Irish Theater, Film and Literature at USM's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Ticket prices are $20 general admission, $18 for seniors and students, and $15 Thursdays and March 27; special ticket price of $10 for First Thursday (March 21).

For more information on Aire Theater click here: AIRE

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