“McGoldrick’s Thread” at Theatre 80 (Closed Sunday September 29, 2013)

September 24, 2013 | Off-Broadway | Tags: ,
Book by Marianne Driscoll
Lyrics by Marianne Driscoll and Eliot Riskin
Music by Ronnie D’Addario
Irish Dance Music by Patrick Mangan
Reviewed by Joseph Verlezza
Theatre Reviews Limited

One of the many facets of Origin’s 1st Irish Festival is the little jewel “McGoldrick’s Thread” which shines with family values that are steeped in Irish tradition. It carries a heartfelt message that is timeless and delivers it with the help of some high spirited Irish dancing and sentimental songs. The story is simple with an old theme. There can be some definite improvement in the book and dialogue, but they serve the purpose and the story captures the audience in an endearing way. The music and lyrics could soar with a more sophisticated approach to vocal and instrumental arrangements but for now they lack the necessary complexity to achieve the maximum dramatic punch. The entire cast transcends the material and provides the necessary elements for a fine evening of entertainment that is filled with pride in the Irish heritage.

Elizabeth West captures the hardships of an Irish immigrant and the love of family sincerely with honest facial expression at every turn as she yearns for her homeland. Peter Cormican delights the audience with his pure vocal tenor and well defined character. Paul Nuget, John Charles McLaughlin and Conor McIntyre provide great comic relief and handle their close harmonies with ease producing a mesmerizing sound that is bright and beautiful. Casey Murray as Magee delivers a believable performance supported by some excellent dancing. The driving force of the evening are Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus with their incredible dancing that is precise, powerful and packed with pride. The entire ensemble is tight and well disciplined, which allows the audience to settle into a comfort zone, becoming part of the family, part of the traditions and a chance to share in the encompassing pride. Go share their emotional journey.