Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig duit. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!
J. Ross Browne might not have celebrated the Irish season in the Old Pueblo, but you can. Here's a sampling of activities clustered around St. Patrick's Day, Wednesday, March 17. For more complete info on Irish tunes in bars and clubs, see the music listings.
Samuel Beckett, the great Irish playwright, has three short plays on the boards at Rogue Theatre: Krapp's Last Tape, Not I and Act Without Words. A disciple of James Joyce and a luminary of the theater of the absurd, Beckett is difficult but worth it. Closes this weekend. 7:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, March 11-13; 2 p.m., Sunday, March 14. $24; Thursday is pay what you will; half-price student rush 15 minutes before curtain. Rogue Theatre, 300 E. University Blvd. 551-2053; www.theroguetheatre.org.
Tucson's own Irish band Round the House is calling it quits after 12 years. But the lads and lasses have made one last CD, At This Stage, recorded live at the Celtic Festival in November. Celebrate at the CD-release party Friday night, March 12, from 7 to 10:30 p.m., in the back room of O'Malley's on Fourth, 247 N. Fourth Ave. $5. 623-8600. Go to www.cdbaby.com/Artist/RoundtheHouse for a listen.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival unfurls on Sunday, March 14. The Irish revelers (our favorite is the Society for Perpetual Indulgence) start marching at 11 a.m. at Stone Avenue and Cushing Street, head north on Stone to Broadway Boulevard, turn east on Broadway, then south on Sixth Avenue, ending at Armory Park, at Sixth and 12th Street. The festival will be in full swing by then, and musicians, dancers and storytellers will do their Celtic thing on stage all the way to 5 p.m. (Round the House comes on at 1 p.m.) Booths sell Irish books, knickknacks, corned beef and cabbage, and beer; www.tucsonstpatricksday.com. In memory of the Great Hunger, the 19th century potato blight that propelled so many Irish to America, donations of canned foods will be accepted for the Tucson Community Food Bank.
On the big day itself, Wednesday, March 17, the Tucson Roscommon Sister Cities puts on its annual Mayor's Luncheon at the Manning House, 450 West Paseo Redondo. (Look for Brian Donahue's statue of Hugo O'Conor, Tucson's Irish founder, out front.) Reception starts at 11:30 a.m., and the luncheon is at noon. $25. Reservations: 770-0714.
You can find Irish music everywhere on the 17th, from O'Malley's to the Auld Dubliner, 800 E. University Blvd., 206-0323; to the Fox and Hound, 7625 N. La Cholla Blvd., 575-1980. But the night's big get is The Mollys' 20th Anniversary and St. Paddy's Day Dance Party at El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St., 623-1865. Everyone's favorite Tucson Celtic-Tex-Mex band reunites for the feast of the great saint. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., and the Hugo O'Conor Memorial Pipe Band gets the multicultural festivities under way at 7 p.m. Las Cazuelitas is cooking up corned beef and Mexican comida, your choice. Music tickets are $12 at the door; food is extra. Advance tickets at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., 792-3715; Flanagan's Celtic Corner, 222 E. Congress St., 623-9922; Folk Shop, 2525 N. Campbell Ave., 881-7147; all three Bookmans ($1.50 surcharge); or online at www.nancymccallion.com.
After the partying, you can turn serious by finally reading James Joyce's Ulysses all the way through. Starting at 9:30 a.m. (ouch!) on the morning after St. Pat's, Robert J. McCue teaches a four-session class on the 1922 masterpiece of modern literature at the Windmill Inn, 4250 N. Campbell Ave. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Thursdays, March 18 through April 8. Class is offered for $89 through the Learning Curve, 777-5817; www.thelearningcurvetucson.com.