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  Luck of the Irish at Noyes Cultural Arts Center

Luck of the Irish

Noyes Cultural Arts Center
927 Noyes Street Evanston

When an upwardly mobile African-American couple wants to buy a home in an all-white neighborhood of 1950's Boston, they pay a struggling Irish family to "ghost-buy" a house on their behalf. Fifty years later, the Irish family wants "their" house back. Moving across two eras, Luck of the Irish explores racial and social issues and the long held secrets that tie two families and one house together.

Thru - Feb 23, 2014

Price: $30 - $45

Show Type: Drama

Running Time: 2hrs, 15minsl one intermission

  Luck of the Irish Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Damon Kiely's straight-up production has some very strong scenes: At one point, the entire opening-night audience felt like Vander Broek's seething Patty Anne was going to come after them with her iron. Rickett forges a fulsome picture of a struggling entrepreneur, and the conversations involving Mojekwu's Hannah, Sandy's Nessa and Talley's Rich are all involving and honest. But in Act 2, when the conflict must come to a head, things go awry, and some of the veracity dissipates."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Kirsten Greenidge's multigenerational drama, "Luck of the Irish" - now at Next Theatre in an expertly acted production directed by Damon Kiely - is something of a latter-day version of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" (and Bruce Norris' more recent "Clybourn Park"), but it is set in Boston rather than Chicago. It flashes back to a real estate deal first made in the 1950s, and then examines the tensions that original deal brings to the surface in the 2000s."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Playwright Kirsten Greenidge takes an interesting premise-albeit a flimsy one, inasmuch as a simple phone call to the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds (617-788-6221) would decide the issue-and buries it in tangents about competitive sisters, misbehaving children, shadowy associates, and the possibility of an interracial affair. Cora Vander Broek's tightly wound Patty, Mildred Marie Langford's cool Lucy, Lily Mojekwu's endearing Hannah, and Chris Rickett's diffident Joe go a long way towards making the mess interesting."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...The play mainly relies on the past storyline to move the story along. It's also the only place where Mrs. Donovan, the real antagonist, is developed. Despite the skill of the actresses who portray her past and present, she feels underwritten. Angry, vindictive, and obsessive, our only clue to her motivations is in her repeated complaints that her daughters have to "share rooms." Perhaps she is meant to be the embodiment of the "smell of entitlement" to which Rich refers, but we aren't given enough of a window into her mind to justify the believability of a 50-year grudge. Instead, she feels simply unsympathetic, making the final confrontation between the two families more pathetic than climactic. "
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Aeneas Sagar Hemphill

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...I was particularly impressed with the performance from Mildred Marie Langford as Lucy Taylor and from Chris Ricket as the dreamer Joe Donovan. Luck of the Irish has it moments and it contains food for thought about 21st Century racial attitudes."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...Buying one’s first house is more than just “moving up”. To many, it is a true sign of adulthood and to some a sign that they have “made it”, they are a success. Despite all of the crazy mortgage schemes of recent years, there were other housing “schemes”, many years ago , ones that most of us are unaware of. They were called “ghost buying” and were used to assist African Americans to get homes in areas that were “segregated”. How it works, for the most part is explained in Kirsten Greenridge’s “Luck of the Irish”, now making its Midwest Premiere at Next Theatre in Evanston."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Somewhat Recommended

"...“Luck of the Irish” (a title I’m not crazy about) doesn’t have anything new to say. It’s no revelation that racial intolerance still exists in this country, even after the passing of 50 years. Families do have internal disagreements and less privileged people do seethe in resentment, convinced that the good fortune of others really should belong to them. There is plenty of unhappiness and conflict in the play but nothing we haven’t seen dramatized before, though the Greenidge’s writing often brings the dialogue to a satisfying dramatic pitch. “Luck of the Irish” isn’t dull but it needs focus, badly.  "

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...Director Damon Kiely paces this perfectly.  The back and forth from 1950s to contemporary times is smooth.  At times, he has the past and present brush past each other for a tingly moment of nostalgia.  My favorite scene is between the proud Mildred Marie Langford (Lucy) and the demanding Cora Vander Broek (Patty Anne).  Langford and Vander Broek have a tense diner exchange.  Their controlled banter says it all, often without verbalizing.  These ladies are both outstanding in portraying their 1950s societal designated roles.  In another scene, a wistful Chris Rickett (Joe) draws empathy and respect as a dreamer.  In the present, Lily Mojekwu (Hannah) and Lucy Sandy (Nessa) display a strong sisterly bond while joking and fighting.  Under Kiely’s care, Greenidge’s characters pull us in to this homespun gentrification. "

Katy Walsh

  Luck of the Irish Photo Gallery

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