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Arts and Entertainment

For its farewell salute to ‘Larry,’ Green Briar fills pub, then some

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, April 8, 2013

By Sean Smith
Special to the BIR

Even by Green Briar standards, it was a big crowd. “There’s more musicians here than people,” quipped one visitor, gazing at the various instrument cases in evidence among the throng that had filled the Brighton pub.
Musicians and non-musicians alike gathered that evening of March 4 at the Green Briar Restaurant and Pub, home of what is arguably Boston’s most famous Irish music session, to honor the memory of its chief organizer and guiding spirit: Larry Reynolds, who died last October. And so, the regular Monday night musical gathering, which most weeks easily fills the room, was multiplied several times over to the extent that it was standing-room-only even for musicians. Read more

Karen MacDonald reinventing “M” as nightmarish good time

By R, special to the BIR, April 8, 2013

By R. J. Donovan
Special to The BIR

Karen MacDonald is one of Boston’s most accomplished and awarded actor-director-teachers. From the angst of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” through the struggle and survival of Brecht’s masterpiece “Mother Courage,” the fun and frivolity of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” profiling the life of Rose Kennedy in “The Color of Rose,” and a multitude of Shakespearean classics, diversity is practically her middle name. Read more

For Dervish, the dance goes on

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, April 8, 2013

‘25 years of persevering and surviving, and enjoying it.

By Sean Smith
Special to the BIR

Their name evokes a wild and whirling dance so frenzied and transformative that it cannot possibly last. But even with almost 25 years behind them, for Dervish the dance goes on – and there’s no sign of it stopping.
The Sligo-based sextet took to the road late this winter in conjunction with the release of their 12th album, “The Thrush in the Storm,” and their travels took them through New England last month – including a surprise visit to The Burren in Somerville, where they played an approximately one hour-long late-night set. Read more

The Burren’s McCarthy takes pen in hand, result is ‘The Fiddlers of Inishbofin’

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, March 6, 2013

A musical disaster en route to a picturesque island off the coast of Galway may seem an unlikely inspiration for a play, but these elements suited the imagination of long-time local Irish music personality Tommy McCarthy.

A West Clare native, McCarthy is well known as musician, promoter, and organizer, and as the owner of the popular Boston-area Irish pub The Burren in Somerville’s Davis Square and its sister pub, The Skellig in Waltham. Read more

Old dances can inspire new ones

By Kieran Jordan, special to the BIR, March 6, 2013

As an Irish dancer, I work with traditional steps and rhythms that are hundreds of years old. Irish dance steps are usually not transcribed or written down, and there is little standardized terminology for the movements. Steps are passed on through live teaching, and are retained through practice and performance.  The repertoire lives in the dancer’s body and mind. Read more

‘Little Bit of Ireland’ remembers Larry Reynolds: Reagle’s celebration plays March 15 - 17

By R. J. Donovan, special to the BIR, March 6, 2013

The atmosphere is always lively at “A Little Bit of Ireland,” Reagle Music Theatre’s annual celebration of Irish music, dance and lighthearted comedy.  This year’s 15th edition takes place March 15 - 17 at Robinson Theatre in Waltham. Read more

Savin Hill’s Tayler stars in Lyric’s Irish-themed comedy

By BIR News Room, March 1, 2013

By Chris Harding
Special to the BIR

Running through March 16, halfway through St. Patrick’s month (as it is known by our neighbors in Southie), the Lyric Stage Company of Boston presents the popular two-man Irish comedy, “Stones in His Pocket.” Savin Hill’s Phil Tayler shares the task of portraying 15 different characters with Daniel Berger-Jones in this piquant, but hardly light-hearted satire about two lads hired as extras when a Hollywood crew takes over a small village in County Kerry. Read more

World Irish Dancing Championships underway in Boston

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, March 1, 2013

Dancing feet like these will be a familiar sight when the World Irish Dancing Championships come to Boston later this month. Some 7,000 competitors are expected to take part in the event. Sean Smith photoDancing feet like these will be a familiar sight when the World Irish Dancing Championships come to Boston later this month. Some 7,000 competitors are expected to take part in the event. Sean Smith photo

Already known as a hub for education, culture, medical science, and sports, among other things, Boston will claim an additional distinction later this month: For a week, it will be the world’s capital of Irish dancing.

From March 24-31, Boston will serve as host for the 2013 World Irish Dancing Championships — only the second time in the event’s 40-plus years that it has taken place in the US (Philadelphia was the first, in 2009). Some 7,000 dancers, along with family members, friends and spectators, from Ireland, the UK, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere in the US, are expected to hit town for the competition, which will be centered in The Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel.

Hosting the “Worlds,” as they are popularly known, marks another chapter in a rich history of civic achievement for Boston, which was awarded the event over 20 other cities around the world, and will bring some late-winter/early-spring excitement to the area — along with, of course, a hoped-for economic windfall. Read more

Concerts galore for St. Pat’s month

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, March 1, 2013

Not that Greater Boston doesn’t have plenty of Irish/Celtic music events during other months of the year, but March is unique in its offerings of concerts and special performances and celebrations evoking the name of St. Patrick or other things Celtic. Here’s a look at just some of the personalities who will be in the spotlight in and around town during the next few weeks. Read more


By Thomas O'Grady, special to the BIR, February 7, 2013


Punctuated with headlines to mark its being set in conjoined newspaper offices, the seventh episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses, “Aeolus,” itself punctuates the novel, announcing by way of its sudden typographical shift—and indeed by its first headline—that both the characters and the reader are now located IN THE HEART OF THE HIBERNIAN METROPOLIS.
Specifically, most of the activity in the episode takes place in the vicinity of Sackville Street (renamed O’Connell Street in 1924), the main thoroughfare of Dublin both in 1904, when Ulysses is set, and now. Read more