Irish comedy treasures Niall Toibín and the troupe Après Match are featured in the Irish Arts Center's Second Annual International Irish Comedy Festival beginning March 7. The program runs through March 31. Toibín plays March 7-24 only; and Match plays March 22-31.
Running concurrently are the center's 25th anniversary celebrations. The festivities will also feature acclaimed Irish writer Patrick McCabe ("The Butcher Boy") reading from his latest novel, "Emerald Gems of Ireland."
Toibín's numerous roles in the theatre include his Broadway portrayal of Brendan Behan in the Tony Award-winning production of Borstal Boy. In addition to film roles, his one-man shows have been well received. The comedy troupe Après Match made its mark doing "post-game 'commentary' after Sunday night football" and has lampooned such Irish icons as U2 and a variety of Irish sports figures.
Tickets are $35 and there are two separate shows requiring separate admissions. Various schedules schedules apply begining March 7; special double bills begin March 22-24, with Niall Toibín at 7 PM and Après Match at 9 PM. The Irish Arts Center is located at 553 W. 51 St. For reservations call (212) 581 4125 or visit www.IrishArtsCenter.org.
—By Murdoch McBride