Best lines, bar none

Michael Mellamphy.

By Orla O'Sullivan

Don Creedon laughed heartily at last Thursday’s performance of “Guy Walks into a Bar” at the New York Irish Center. Maybe too heartily, considering that the jokes were the playwright’s own. But Creedon is to be forgiven.

The show was the best fun I’ve had at the theatre in years. And it’s not just me, audiences for Origin’s 1st Irish in 2010 voted this as best play, which is why it is enjoying a repeat performance in the festival’s tradition of “Throwback Thursdays.”

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Sadly, it is being staged just twice and in Queens. (Although just one stop from the Grand Central subway stop on the 7 train. Sometimes, it’s hard to draw the same crowds outside Manhattan but it would be great to see “Guy” get the attention it deserves.)

This coming Thursday's performance will be the last chance for now to see what is essentially a series of extended comedy sketches, loosely tied together as a play.

The common element is Joe (Clay Westman), trying to get back into dating five years after his divorce. Before he even encounters women he’s thrown to the lions in the form of two Irish-born cynics, propping up his local bar. Both the fabulous Michael Mellamphy, a former 1st Irish Best Actor, and Roger Clarke lacerate Joe with innuendo in their brotherly advice.

Oh, to have room to quote all the pitch-perfect dialogue! It’s directed by Tim Ruddy, the playwright behind “The International.”

The New York Irish Center is located at 10-40 Jackson Ave., LIC, N.Y. 11101. For more information on the 10th Annual 1st Irish Theatre Festival, go to