Instead of going to parades, bars and parties this year, we eat Irish soda bread at home. But just because we’re at home doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, and for theater people we have it all. Here are five Irish musical films to watch throughout the day and night that will make you sing.
1. Finian’s rainbow
The 1968 Francis Ford Coppola film is an adaptation of the Broadway musical, with a screenplay and lyrics by original writers EY Harburg and Fred Saidy and music by Burton Lane. The plot is very, very stupid (and not entirely politically correct), but if you can look past the story of a lovable Irishman who steals a pot of gold and the leprechaun after him, you will be able to hear some of the most beautiful pieces of the theatrical golden age: “Old Devil Moon”, “How are you at Glocca Morra?” and “Look to the Rainbow”, among them.
John Carney’s 2007 film tells the story of a lonely Irish musician who falls in love with a Czech flower merchant. Originally a vehicle for songwriters Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who won an Oscar for their song “Falling Slowly”, the film was staged in 2011, winning the 2012 Tony for Best Musical. But the charm of the film is unbeatable.
3. Sing the street
Another John Carney film, the one from 2016, was set to make its Broadway debut this season. This coming-of-age story takes place in Dublin around 1985 and follows a high school student who forms a New Wave group in order to impress a girl. It’s one of those movies with a fantastic score and flashy tunes called “Up” and “Drive It Like You Stole It”.
4. The engagements
Based on the 1987 novel by Roddy Doyle and directed by Alan Parker, The engagements is another film about a young Dubliner starting a band – in this case it’s a soul band. With hits like “Mustang Sally” and “Chain of Fools”, The engagements is a classic for a reason, and one that was adapted for London’s West End in 2013.
Irish step dancing is not based on a movie, but there are 5 DVD releases of past productions from the show that you can watch and enjoy on BroadwayHD. Any of the productions available will make you want to dance in your living room, so move the coffee table aside and do some high kicks to keep yourself from going crazy.