san patrizio, fake laughter at the theatre and other ruminations

mes amis–

greetings from skibbereen, the most southerly town in ireland.

it was most curious to be here for the festa di san patrizio. when i have experienced green themed days in the past it has most often been in the U.S. and i have oft had rather knee jerk reactions.

heh heh

heh heh

c’est vrais. i confess… in my youth i was a bit repulsed by people who celebrated their irish heritage. why was this? i have never had the same aversion to other groups of people celebrating their distant homelands. not in the least! i love a bastille day and a puerto rican day parade. i guess it seemed that st. patrick’s was a holiday of oppressors (though historically speaking the irish have been a rather oppressed group!) o, the misguided thinkings in one’s youth! perhaps the corny decorations are what truly horrify me (and these are surely the American icing on an Irish cake)



i guess i prefer to keep my heritage as a personal matter. after all, i am an international citizen of the world! why should i let my bloodlines limit my self expression? that said, i have come to have to appreciate st. patrick’s day. and even the people who celebrate it. i love how it is all encompassing it can be and how, with a wink and a smile, people of all stripes can sport green and feel festival.  it was a most authentic experience to be here in ireland for it. even more so .. i have come to appreciate the great land of ireland, which i am finally proud to call a distant homeland (among my many others!)

ma quanto e bello!

ma quanto e bello!

in other news, i caught two wonderful theatrical shows before i left for the land of ire. the flick by the illustrious and lustrous annie baker and a raisin in the sun. they were both rather delightful experiences.

in attending the flick, my companion and i thought the curtain was an hour earlier than it really was. as a result we had plenty of time to amuse and bemuse ourselves in a local diner. i ran into old friends and new ones. a community experience! i was most vexed, however, by some of the audience members at the show. the play is hilarious and heartbreaking… but it is not the stuff of a comedian’s stand up set! while many of the lines were dangerously dark and packed with punch it seemed like an unnatural reaction to guffaw like a hyena.


there was one young man in front of my companion and i who was really slapping his knee and throwing back his head in a most exaggerated manner. don’t get me wrong: far be it from me to prevent laughter. it is the medicine of life! but the laughter of this particular young man rang false to me. it seemed as though he was trying to prove something with his loud chortles… how he really “understood” the play or how he “got” the humor. kudos if he did (you’d have to be a dummy if you didn’t) but alas,  some of the lines got drowned out by this holligan’s outbursts.

remarkably, later in the show an elder-of-the-state leaned over to her elder date and loudly whispered, “the glass menagerie, this is not.” i was touched by the old fashioned grammar and syntax of this statement. nor did i take it to be a negative judgement of the play. the flick is certainly not the glass menagerie: and thank heavens! they are both wonderful and wonderfully different plays. the young man of the loud guffaws snapped his head toward the elder-of-the-state who had uttered this remark and shushed her. really shushed  her!

i was incensed! if you are going to laugh like a maniac at least let others have the occasional comment exchange. in any case, the flick was excellent. the performances were tip top and the language brought me to the teetering edge of the void more than once. i look forward to ms. baker’s next contribution to the american theatre.

speaking of american classics, a raisin in the sun was truly wonderful. i dont know why i was somewhat dragging my feet a bit. perhaps it felt like going to eat broccoli since it is such an american classic (and one that i was hitherto unfamiliar with). a fine, fine play with a great production at the huntington theatre in boston. so sad that lorraine  hansbury didn’t live a longer life.

classic, elegant and beautiful!

classic, elegant and beautiful!

if you are around in the clinton hill district ce soir i advise you check out the inaugural Hi-Lo performance series at JACK. that theatre space draws a delightfully eclectic mix of people and artists and i, for one, look forward to the start of what is sure to be a fine ongoing series.



i’ll be there… will you?






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