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April 23, 2013 | By Jamie Wetherbe
More than 25 years after Roddy Doyle wrote "The Commitments," the bestselling book-turned-movie is bound for London's West End. The scrappy story about a group of down-and-out Dubliners who form a soul band will open on Oct. 8 at the Palace Theatre. Doyle co-wrote the script for the 1991 movie of the same name, but was reluctant to adapt the story for the stage. PHOTOS: Hollywood stars on stage In part because of "The Commitments'” on-screen success, and until he saw "Jersey Boys,” the novelist, well, didn't care for musicals.
April 8, 2013 | By Janet Stobart
LONDON -- It perhaps goes without saying that the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did not prompt universal mourning. She could be a polarizing figure, nowhere more than in working-class communities of northern England, Scotland and Wales, where residents bitterly recall the fierce fights against her closure of Britain's mines in the 1980s, actions that caused thousands to lose their livelihoods. The National Union of Miners posted a few words of condolence to the Thatcher family, but followed it with a reminder: “The legacy of what the Conservative government did to British industry under Thatcher is not one to be proud of if you really did want the best for the people.” The working class had suffered “decimation” in the name of the free market, the message said, adding that “Thatcher lived long enough to see her beliefs demolished when the 'free market' collapsed and came running to the state for support.
April 8, 2013 | By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - If there's one thing Gabriel Byrne has learned in recent years, it's the importance of a comfortable chair. After a marathon 106 episodes as psychologist Paul Weston on the HBO drama "In Treatment," Byrne stars in "Vikings," History's first full-length scripted series, as Earl Haraldson, a Norse chieftain with a flowing salt-and-pepper mane (all his own, thank you very much) and a taste for cruelty. Despite the considerable differences between the shows - one set almost entirely in a shrink's office in brownstone Brooklyn, the other in 8th century Scandinavia - they both left Byrne, well, uncomfortable.
April 4, 2013 | Rebecca Trounson
Milo O'Shea, a versatile Dublin-born stage and screen actor known for his famously bristling, agile eyebrows and roles in such disparate films as "Ulysses," "Barbarella" and Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet," has died. He was 86. O'Shea, who also appeared in many popular television series, including "Cheers," "Frasier," "The West Wing" and "The Golden Girls," died Tuesday in New York after a short illness, according to Irish news accounts. Familiar both in starring and supporting roles, he appeared in numerous stage productions before coming to wider attention with his first leading screen role as Leopold Bloom in the 1967 adaptation of James Joyce's "Ulysses.
April 3, 2013 | By Rebecca Trounson
Milo O'Shea, an Irish stage and screen actor known for his roles in films as varied as “Ulysses,” “Barbarella” and Franco Zeffirelli's “Romeo and Juliet,” has died. He was 86. O'Shea, who also had guest roles on many popular television series, including “Cheers,” “Frasier” and “The West Wing,” died Tuesday in New York City, according to Irish news reports. PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2013 Familiar as both a starring and character actor, with bristling eyebrows and an impish smile, O'Shea appeared in numerous stage productions before he came to wider attention with his first starring screen role, when he played protagonist Leopold Bloom in the 1967 film adaptation of James Joyce's “Ulysses.” O'Shea's many other memorable roles included playing mad scientist Dr. Durand Durand in the 1968 cult classic “Barbarella” with Jane Fonda, the well-intentioned Friar Laurence in Zeffirelli's adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” also in 1968, and as the trial judge in the 1982 film “The Verdict,” starring Paul Newman.
March 28, 2013 | By Philip Brandes
As edgy Irish comedy-thrillers go, Robert Massey's “Rank” largely ranks as “Martin McDonagh Lite,” but like its more extreme noirish forebears, Massey's 2008 caper tale revels in skillfully expressive language, even in the most trivial exchanges - loopy digressions and non sequiturs are the main attractions in its U.S. premiere at Odyssey Theatre. Adhering to its genre formula, the play's Irish-inflected love of gab goes hand in hand with its mounting sense of menace, as down-and-out cab driver Carl (Kevin Kearns)
March 17, 2013 | By John Adams and Sarah Parvini
DUBLIN, Ireland - As the shopkeepers in this capital city readied for St. Patrick's Day under typically intermittent rainy skies, Father Sean McDonagh's attention was on the new pope's agenda. The Columban priest, whose order has a long tradition of missionary work, has been an outspoken critic of Vatican policies. With Pope Francis' honeymoon period underway he, like many, is waiting to see what issues will be at the center of the new papal agenda. McDonagh, 69, believes Francis needs to go green, making environmentalism the No. 1 priority for the Catholic Church.
March 16, 2013 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
It's a Catholic thing. It's an immigrant-underdog thing. It's an acoustic-punk thing. There are many reasons why, for the last 10 or 11 years - the precise number is lost in the fog of memory - the L.A. Chicano band Ollin has celebrated St. Patrick's Day by paying tribute to the Pogues, the Anglo Irish ensemble that slammed the lilting grace of traditional Celtic music together with punk's raw energy during the Reagan-Thatcher era. Ollin's annual...
March 16, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
In a city that could be considered the melting pot of the world, it's only fitting that our pick for a St. Patrick's Day cocktail is Mexican. Created by mixologist Gilbert Marquez for Santa Monica's nouveau Mexican restaurant Mercado, the drink is called the Irish Poet. The spicy libation is fueled by the smoky flavor of mezcal, the heat of seeded poblano peppers, the zing of fresh lime juice and a lick of chipotle pepper-infused salt. Inspiration for the drink struck Marquez after a riotous tequila-drinking session with a loquacious Irishman in Mexico.
March 14, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
Mistakes are the portals of discovery. At least that's what James Joyce, one of Ireland's most famous writers - and a notorious drinker - once said. The phrase rings particularly true on St. Patrick's Day, the saucy Irish holiday that is marked by an epic consumption of alcohol and plenty of corned beef and cabbage. To honor Joyce, we make the annual mistake of drinking too much and discover that we wake up feeling green. Here are some of our favorite places to make those mistakes and many others this Sunday - framed by the back of a cab, of course.
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