To judge from the wide success of their respective books,
"Angelas Ashes" and "A Monk Swimming", you dont
have to be Irish to appreciate the wry sense of humor of the
Their gift of gab is very much on display in "A Couple of
Blaguards", a two-person autobiographical show that they
developed a couple of decades ago when they performed it in
Each holding a pint in his hand, they arrive onstage
toasting Limerick, Ireland. Its such an historic city,
were told, that "the favorite word of the Limerick man
This is in contrast to the favorite word of the Limerick
The McCourts recall growing up dirt-poor, among other things
describing the "great misfortune" of living on a lane where
was a single lavatory in a shed, shared by 16 families.
As a Limerick politician says, "Not only should we be
building urinals for the men, but we should be constructing
arsenals for the women."
While Act One is devoted to the McCourts youth in
Ireland, the Second concerns their assimilation in New York.
Frank arrived first, and he was quickly advised to join the
police force: "Above all, be with your own." But, as he
sensibly points out, if his goal was to be with his own, he
would have remained in Ireland.
By David Kaufman