There are a lot of comedy teams out there, and even more singing groups, but you'll be hard pressed to find one that lives up to the promise of "Ireland's all-girl cult comedy singing sensation." That's the billing, however, for a distaff trio who arrived in Manhattan Oct. 3 as part of the Irish Arts Center's Irish Comedy Festival, which recently offered an abbreviated run of comedian Niall Toibin's solo, The Revenge Tour.
The three comediennes who comprise The Nualas (pronounced "Noolas") began performing in 1995 at Dublin's Comedy Cellar. Since then, they've played four times at the Edinburgh Fringe and appear regularly on Irish TV's "The Late, Late Show."
According to spokespersons, the Nualas dress in sequins and granny glasses to spoof girl pop groups. Their show officially opened Oct. 6 and was supposed to end Oct. 21, but the show's popularity has kept it going, with the Irish Arts Center now extending the show's run indefinitely, according to spokespersons at the Pete Sanders press office.
Their close harmonies have been widely praised, though their humor is often very local and down-home Irish specific. Following a successful UK run in 1999, cast-member Sue Collins told journalist Karen Fricker, "Ireland is so small that the culchie thing really underlines a lot of our experience. Growing up in the country, I found that even there, there was a division between the townies and the 'country people', and yet if any of us went to Dublin we'd be the culchies. And even if you're on the top of the pile here in Ireland, if you go abroad you'd have nothing on the glamour of America. Here you're always a hen's kick away from silage all the time; if you look at Irish telly you still have all those veterinary ads on. You can't get away from it."
For tickets ($25-35) and information about "The Nualas," which officially opens Oct. 6 at the Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51 St. (10th Ave) call (212) 581-4125 or or visit www.IrishArtsCenter.org. —By David Lefkowitz