St. Patrick's Day
Comedian Jim McCue's shows also feature Irish dancing, musicBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader March 15. 2017 12:41PM
If you go...WHAT: St. Patrick's Day Comedy Gala
WHERE: Lebanon Opera House, 51 No. Park St., Lebanon
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday
INFO: 448-0400; lebanonoperahouse.org
WHERE: The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
INFO: 436-2400; themusichall.org
For anyone seeking a break from the daily drama in D.C., comedian Jim McCue promises his two shows this weekend will be noticeably free of political jokes.
“I would bill these as shows for anyone looking for an escape from politics,” McCue said. “I’m staying away from that material right now. It’s a strange time. You express an opinion on Facebook, and suddenly you’re losing friends. These shows will be for anyone looking to get away from that for a night.”
McCue will bring his St. Patrick’s Day Comedy Gala, featuring McCue and fellow Boston Irish comedians Joey Carroll and Jimmy PJ Walsh, for two shows in the Granite State this weekend — Friday at 8 p.m. at the Lebanon Opera House, and Saturday at 8 p.m. at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.
The Friday night show is a fundraiser for Granite State dairy farmers.
“No blarney about it, New Hampshire dairy farmers could use a hand. Falling worldwide milk prices combined with a prolonged New England drought have caused the Granite State to lose 19 dairy farms over the last two years,” reads a press release issued for the show. “Those still surviving face a challenging future. Without help, the famous ‘Got Milk?’ campaign could be saying, ‘Not in New Hampshire.’”
A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund. The show stars McCue, Carroll and Walsh, as well as Upper Valley favorites the Connelly Celtic Dancers; traditional Irish music by Brinytide, featuring fiddler Roger Burridge and piper Anthony Santoro; legendary host Paddy O’ Furniture; and surprise guests.
McCue, a former Hampton resident, is not only a comedian. He’s also a producer of the Boston Comedy Festival. He has been featured on Comedy Central, Comcast Comedy Spotlight, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and “Roughing It” in his native New England. He’s taken the stage at all the major clubs in his hometown of Boston, in addition to venues in Las Vegas, New York, Dublin, Montreal and Edinburgh.
McCue has entertained U.S. troops at more than 100 bases around the world, eventually writing a book about his experience performing in the Middle East called “Embedded Comedian,” which he describes as a “field manual for comedians in a war zone.”
Portsmouth-based Cuzin Richard Entertainment and the Boston Comedy Festival are putting on the event. Cuzin Richard owner Richard Smith is an Upper Valley native and fan of the state’s dairy farms. He said he hopes this evening of music, comedy and community support for dairy farms may even bring “a wee bit of Irish luck” to New Hampshire dairy farmers.
Students with the Murray Academy of Irish Dance will perform as part of the Saturday show in Portsmouth, while bagpiper David O’Connor will play for patrons outside the doors of The Music Hall as people walk in from 7 to 8 p.m.
McCue said a big part of his act is interacting with the audience.
“I always look for someone in the audience I can play off of,” McCue said. “I’ll be looking for people to be part of the show.”
For more information about McCue, check out his website at jimmccue.com.