By Chesley Plemmons
Have you ever noticed that the best stories are told by
those who figure in them?
by Joanne Greco Rochman
POLKA DOT PLAYHOUSE: Sure t'will bring a tear to your eye, whether from laughin' or cryin'. How poor were the McCourt brothers (Frank McCourt, author of "Angela's Ashes" and his brother Malachy, author of "A Monk Swimming)? They lived on bread and tea. They wiped their "snotty" noses on their sleeves, and their "arses" hung out through the holes in their trousers
"A Couple of Blaguards" is an unforgettable, thoroughly entertaining journey.
Interjecting an occasional Irish folk song, this production comes alive and tugs at your heartstrings as much as your funny bone.
Malachy: Ah, the Father. He came from north of Ireland, so he did. And he sang, so he did.
Frank: And he got the Irish divorce, so he did.
Malachy: What's the Irish divorce, Frank?
Frank: He disappeared, so he did.
The two actors - Howard Platt as Malachy and Jarlath Conroy as Frank - portray and mimic many male and female acquaintances by raising or lowering their voices and by incorporating simple props like collars and kerchiefs to impersonate priests and old ladies respectively.
The first act concentrates on the poverty the brothers experienced in historic, Catholic, beautiful Limerick. The second act focuses on the brothers seeking their fortunes in gold-lined, filthy rich "Amer-ikay." Filled with blarney, Irish songs, anecdotes and poetry, the second act is every bit as entertaining as the first act. The actors are consistently charming in their various and multiple roles.
You don't have to be Irish to appreciate the familial tales and good humor of this all-around top-notch production.