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“Ireland’s Greatest Export” provides laughs, tears and a beautiful story

By KATE DOCTOR
Staff Writer

The fact that this show sold out two nights in a row and had to add on a fourth show on Monday, April 22 told me already that “Ireland’s Greatest Export” was going to be something special. I had planned on going to opening night, but by the time I was able to attain tickets they were already sold out. So then I tried again Sunday and once again I came out ticketless. So when I managed to get two tickets, I was expectant and excited to see what was in store for the evening in this show that had already sold out twice.

Since I had been on the cast before regrettably having to step down, I already had a fairly good idea of what would be performed. But what I experienced in practice was very different from actually seeing all the pieces come together as a whole. Throughout the evening there were as many humorous moments as there were sad moments. From the humorous satire of the game show “Where Are They Now?” to the heart rending delivery of the song “Fields of Athenry,” the show conveyed a variety of emotions all leading towards the same message—that of the hopes and dreams of the Irish people to emigrate to America for a better life.

I was enthralled by this play, especially by the balance of humorous and sad topics introduced. There were pieces of Irish history that I had never heard before, and the audience was treated to an Irish step dance (they make it look so easy, but I know better than that). Some of the songs moved me to tears, the most notable one being the raw emotion of “The Fields of Athenry.” Other scenes moved me to tears of laughter, such as the “Out They Go!” scene in the play. “Ireland’s Greatest Export” was, in short, dynamic, unique and compelling. If this play were put on again, I would excitedly be first in line.