By Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Critics On The Aisle
Connecticut playgoers who have followed the escapades and adventures of Paddy Bell and his family in The Bells of Dublin at the Ivoryton Playhouse won’t want to miss the third play in the trilogy. And even if you are new to the story, you will enjoy their exploits as Paddy brings the whole family to New York for Christmas. You’ll get your fill of carols and Irish songs and even a little vaudeville to get you in the spirit of the season.
Executive/Artistic Director Jacqueline Hubbard once again puts on her playwright’s hat to add her bit of whimsy to what’s become and Ivoryton Playhouse tradition. The story takes place on Christmas Eve in O’Lunney’s Pub in New York. Settling into the pub’s doorway is Maggie, a bag lady who roams the neighborhood around 50th and Broadway. She weaves a story with a cast of characters from our American shores to the Emerald Isle.
The Bells of Dublin, Parts I, II & III were conceived and directed by Playhouse Executive/Artistic Director, Jacqueline Hubbard, who tell us: “For 345 days a year, we work around the clock here – maintaining this beautiful building and producing 7 amazing professional shows. The holiday show is our chance to have some fun! I wanted to put together a show with some great music – traditional Irish and American – a little bit of magic and a lot of laughs. So – here ‘tis!”
This funny and fantastic tale is filled with songs you know and songs you wish you did – with a wonderful band of local musicians directed by Melanie Guerin, who also arranged much of the music. The cast includes many Playhouse favorites – R. Bruce Connelly*, Michael McDermott*, Maggie McGlone Jennings, Vanessa Vradenburgh, Ted Philips and Norm Rutty (from the local band Save the Train), Jenna Berloni, Nancy and David Cardone, Emma Hunt, Olivia Harry, Alec Bandzes, Vickie Blake, Larry Lewis, Michael Hotkowski, Dylan Vallier and Celeste Cumming. The set for this production is designed by Dan Nischan, costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina and lights by Marcus Abbott.
Experience the true magic of the season Ivoryton Playhouse style with this original Christmas musical – for two weeks only. Give a couple of tickets to this show as a pre-holiday gift to anyone who is young at heart or has a bit of the blarney in their personality!
The Bells of Dublin Part III: A New York Fairytale opens on Wednesday, December 7th and runs thru December 18th. Performance times are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. There is also a Wednesday matinee on December 14th. Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org . (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton Connecticut. Note:* denotes members of Actors’ Equity Association.