Historic walks, theater, concerts and more
By Sabina Mollot
The one day of the year when everyone’s Irish is nearly upon us once again, and Town & Village has compiled a list of events taking place on March 17 and throughout the week that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or Irish culture.
The Irish Repertory Theater presents “A Celebration of Harold Pinter,” a show directed by John Malkovich running from March 15 to April 3, including on St. Patrick’s Day at 7 p.m. This solo show featuring Julian Sands will explore the Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet Pinter’s lesser-known poems and prose “devoid of pretension or glittery trappings.”
Tickets are $71 and the venue is the theater’s temporary home at DR2 at 103 East 15th Street, as Irish Repertory’s Chelsea venue undergoes renovations. Tickets are available online at www.irishrep.org.
Irish music can be heard throughout the afternoon and evening at Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar at 519 Second Avenue and East 29th Street, starting at 1 p.m. The first band is Triocha Bandits from 1-4 p.m., playing Gaelic music. The Itinerants play from 5-9 p.m. and regular Thursday night house band Irish Seisiun from 10:30 p.m. to closing. Both bands will play traditional Irish music and folk songs. Cover is $10. This event is 21 and up. For more information, visit paddyreillymusicbar.us.
Throughout the afternoon on March 17, Merchants House will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with “A Tribute to the Tredwells’ Irish Servants with Bridget Murphy.”
Merchants House, located at 29 East 4th Street, is a museum with a mission of educating the public about the domestic life of a wealthy merchant family and their four Irish servants from 1835-1865. Guided tours of the building will take place at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Participants climb the narrow staircase to the fourth-floor servants’ quarters and see where the Tredwells’ four Irish servants lived and did some of their work. In the kitchen, guests will meet a 19-year-old character named Bridget Murphy, who worked for the Tredwells in the 1850s. She’ll explain why it would have been impossible to run a home like the Merchant’s House without her.
Reservations are not required. Admission to the museum is $13 general, $8 for seniors and free for children under 12. For more information, visit merchantshouse.org.
Those looking to partake in a holiday-themed bar crawl (or conversely avoid streets where it’s taking place) should know that the St. Paddy’s Pub Crawl has a few local registration spots (start-off points for participants). They include Bait & Hook on East 14th Street, the Hill in Murray Hill and Bar None in the East Village, according to pubcrawls.com.
Last but not least, the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start at 11 a.m. and can be viewed along Fifth Avenue between 44th Street and 79th Street. Grand marshal is Senator George J. Mitchell. For those who’d rather watch at home or at a pub, the action will be filmed live starting at 11 a.m. on NBCNewYork.com.
Throughout the week:
On Saturday, March 12 at noon, The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral presents an Irish-language mass and party with live Irish music to follow at the cathedral on Mott Street between Prince and Houston streets. This event is being held for the ninth year in association with the New York Irish History Roundtable and Glucksman Ireland House NYU.
Father Andrew O’Connor of St. Mary’s Church in Manhattan will be the celebrant. Liturgical music will be performed on the Basilica’s historic 1868 Henry Erben Organ by resident organist Jared Lamenzo, and Paddy Connolly will be the cantor. There will be readings in Gaelic by several guests.
Afterwards, the party will be held in the St. Patrick’s Youth Center with traditional Irish music being performed and Irish step dancing by students of The Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance. There will be Irish Soda Bread, food and beverages available. The event is free but contributions will be gratefully accepted. Glucksman Ireland House at NYU can be reached at (212) 998-3950.
Big Onion Tours presents the Irish New York walk through the Lower East Side on March 13 at 11 a.m. and March 19 at 1 p.m. Participants will explore the former “Little Ireland” district between City Hall and Houston Street and learn about the role of Irish immigrants in the history of New York City.
A guide will also explain why St. Patrick’s Day is more popular here than in Ireland. Stops could include: the founding site of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Al Smith’s home, the Five Points, the first Catholic church in the city and sites associated with Tammany Hall. The meeting place is in front of St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway between Fulton and Vesey Streets. Cost is $20 for adults, students and seniors, $15. For more information, visit www.bigonion.com.
The Irish Arts Center at 553 East 51st Street between 10th and 11th Avenues presents a free day celebrating Irish arts and culture beginning at noon on Sunday, March 13.
Guests will learn to play the tin whistle, speak Irish with instructors, play music and sample Stomp and Shout New York’s classes at IAC, practice football skills with Manhattan Gaels, enjoy new crafts and/or sip tea with friends old and new. This event is appropriate for all ages. For more information, visit www.irishartscenter.org.
FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade presents an Irish-themed shows written and performed by Brian Fleming on Monday, March 14 and 21 at Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Pl. between 1st Ave. and Ave. A). Projection, costume, spoken word, bad dance, bad striptease, live and recorded music combine to bring Brian Fleming’s true stories to life.
The featured shows are:
“A Sacrilegious Lesbian and Homosexual Parade,” Monday, March 14 at 7 p.m. While Ireland celebrates marriage equality, in New York, Irish LGBT groups have been banned from the St Patrick’s Day Parade for 25 years. Fleming takes us for a romp through 15 years of celebration and resistance, with the St. Pat’s For All Parade on the road to equality in 2016.
“Have Yis No Homes To Go To,” Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m. As thousands of refugees migrate through Europe, three and a half Galway clowns face down 1,500 refugees in a camp in Rwanda. The words on everyone’s lips are “Why the hell did you bring a drummer to Africa?”
“Gis a Shot of Your Bongos Mister,” Monday, March 21 at 8:30 p.m. The only Irish man in Senegal brings the first Africans in 1990s Ireland to Fatima Mansions in Dublin. A musical storytelling from Dublin’s inner city flats to the suburbs of Dakar, experience the world through a drummer’s ears.
Tickets ($20 each; $30 for two) may be purchased in advance at www.horsetrade.info.
As many peculiar occurrences at the Merchants House museum have been linked to the building’s former live-in Irish servants, Merchants House, located at 29 East 4th Street, holds the occasional “Spirit of the Irish” Candlelight Ghost Tour. An upcoming one is scheduled for Friday, March 18 at 6:30 and 7 p.m. $30. For more information, visit merchantshouse.org.