Santa Monica Playhouse will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a “raucous Irish hooley (party)” and a celebration of Ireland in songs, poems, limericks and stories. The one-man show A Bit of Irish will be performed by actor/singer/raconteur Chris Sullivan at 8 p.m. Friday, March 17th, at the Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica. Tickets are $15.

The title A Bit of Irish is taken from a common English expression directed at the Irish.

“When something’s not logical, the English say, ‘Ah, that’s a bit of Irish,’ which means it’s nonsense,” Sullivan explains.

“But that’s okay,” says Sullivan. “We make fun of them making fun of us.”

Sullivan says that, contrary to what many believe, St. Patrick’s Day has traditionally been bigger in the United States than in Ireland, its popularity stemming from Irish immigrants celebrating their culture.

“Until a few years ago, it was never as popular over there as it was here,” says Sullivan. “But by this point, it has been commercialized and is a pretty big celebration in Ireland and England.”

In his performance, Sullivan seeks to expose listeners to authentic songs he believes that it would be unlikely they had heard in the United States, songs such as “Rare Old Times” and Finnegan’s Wake,” a song title spun from the James Joyce novel Finnegans Wake.

Sullivan uses source material from Irish poets, including W.B. Yeats and other Irish literary figures.

Reservations, (310) 394-9779 ext. 1.

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