If you go
› What: “Irish Courage” by Back Alley Productions.
› When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, March 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25; 2:30 p.m. Sundays, March 12, 19 and 26.
› Where: Mars Theater, 117 N. Chattanooga St., LaFayette, Ga.
› Phone: 423.356.7437.
› Website: www.BAPshows.com.
Patrons expecting to attend multiple Back Alley Productions shows this season may consider season tickets, which offer discounts on passes for four, six or nine shows or the full-season package for 12 shows. Other shows this season are “A Few Good Men,” One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “It’s a Disaster,” “Ordinary People,” “Deathtrap,” “The Twelfth Night,” “Lost in Yonkers,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “The Woman in Black,” “The Crucible” and “A Christmas Carol.” Visit www.BAPshows.com for pricing information.
"Irish Courage," a production the director bills as "one big live Irish celebration," opens this weekend at the Mars Theater in LaFayette, Ga., home to award-winning local theater company Back Alley Productions.
"The production will be filled with entertainment, ranging from the performance of the story to a live bluegrass band who has learned old Irish limericks — fun fact: bluegrass draws its heritage from Irish culture — to singing old tavern songs like 'Rocky Road to Dublin' and performing classic Irish step-dancing," says director Thomas White, whose bloodline has ties to South Dublin.
Based on the John Millington Synge classic "The Playboy of the Western World," "Irish Courage" is the story of Christy Mahon, who stumbles into a rustic 20th-century Irish tavern and charms the local villagers, especially the women, with a tall tale about murdering his tyrannical and oppressive father. But when his father, still alive, tracks him down, Christy must find the courage to make the lie right by making the lie real.
"'Irish Courage' is a really nice blend of serious theatrical drama and hilarious situational and reactionary comedy," White says. "There's a lot of peaks and valleys for these lovable characters, all within a beautiful, poetic framework of the old Irish language. It's romantic, it's tragic, and it's a look at real Irish culture that breaks away from the commercialism of St. Patrick's Day."
Despite some heavy themes, the production is family-friendly, though White says younger children might not fully understand the storyline.
Featured in the cast are Zachery Green, Madison Smith, Michael Tate, Greg Guinn, James Lanier, Jessica Smith, Thomas Lapp, Ed Huckbee, Lyndsay Mackay, Tessa Sentell, Olivia Griffin and Jessica Vinyard.