Irish curse 1

Everyone faces hardships and shortcomings. Perhaps one of the hardest challenges to overcome is faced by five Irishmen who have a ‘tiny’ problem. The “Irish Curse” is said to exist in Irishmen who feel like they don’t quite ‘measure up’ to other men, if you catch my drift.

“This is a play to deal with anybody’s shortcomings,” co-director and Trinity University professor, Roberto Prestigiacomo said. “This is a play about a bunch of guys coming together to help each other move past what, mentally, is something that makes them feel like less of a man.”

The story takes place in the basement of St. Sebastian’s Church in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Rick Baldwin, a ladies’ man who habitually cheats on his girlfriend and wears a jock to make himself appear more endowed, meets with a sexually frustrated southerner, Joseph, at a self-help group.

Steven Fitzgerald, a gay Irish policeman, compares his manhood to a gun and joins them as well. Together they create hilarious dialogue throughout this witty play. Full of puns and laughable moments, the production is therapeutic to anyone who has fallen short and feels they are often outshined.

“It’s a comedy, but has a big significance to the lives of these people,” Prestigiacomo stated. “I like directing plays that have a very strong topic. Comedy is like a vehicle that allows the audience to really enter into the lives of the characters.”

“With this subject matter, it automatically intrigues people,” stated Tyler Keyes, who plays Stephen Fitzgerald in the play. “Anybody you talk to has the exact same goal, and it’s to inspire conversation.”

Soon, the priest of the Irish Catholic Church arrives with native Irishman Keiran Riley (Sam Mandelbaum), who hails from Dublin.

Each character has a unique story behind how their shrunken manhoods have ruined their lives. Keiran reveals he is engaged, but because of his lack of “confidence,” has never made love to a woman. Rick admits that he lied about his sexual conquests and that he has actually never cheated on his girlfriend. Stephen is a lonely guy who sleeps around with other men, but never goes “all the way,” because of his “situation.”

Joseph’s wife left him because of his insecurity. In the show, he admits, “When soft, it looks like a bottle cap. When erect, it’s a little smaller than my thumb.”

We even find out that having a “Little Willie” was the direct result of Father Kevin joining the priesthood!

Throughout the play, each man tells his story as the newcomer, Keiran, asks questions to better cope with his small problem. The men stand up to their pint-sized insecurities by explaining how well-endowed men cause the bad things in life. Problems such as “guns, bombs and wars” are issues created by bigger men trying to feel powerful. “This is all just a pissing contest,” says Joseph.

They all accept what was being said, and Father Kevin remarks, “If I had a big prick, I might have ended up a big prick.”

“We do work that allows the audience to be introduced to topics that they don’t talk about,” Prestigiacomo revealed. “I want the audience to be entertained; I want the audience to laugh. The laughs allow the audience to relieve some kind of tension to listen more attentively to the stories that are being told.”

Trinity University sophomore Alejandro Cardona, who plays Rick, said, “I’m new to this production. I remember getting the script and falling in love with it because it was so damn funny.”

The play ends by reiterating the theme of the “Irish Curse”: The problem isn’t about having small parts, but how emasculation is tearing those who deal with it apart. The play is meant to inspire the audience to conquer their own shortcomings and adversities. “Irish Curse” is a laugh-out-loud comedy focused on a taboo topic that is relatable to anyone with the ability to laugh at his or her own self.

The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts will be hosting the “Irish Curse,” from April 10-12. Visit tobincenter.org for ticket prices and more information.

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