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Your complete guide to St. Paddy's Day
Daily Herald Staff Report

Chicago's Shamrox sends its Hot Rox dance troupe to Bamboo Room, 616 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, on Sunday for a special Irish-themed performance and prize giveaway.

 

Justin McBride of Lake Villa was decked out in green for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade Saturday in Lake Villa.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

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Published: 3/14/2008 12:12 AM

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Everyone's Irish on March 17, or so the saying goes. Americans have embraced St. Patrick's Day, and why not? It's an excuse to eat, drink and be merry, wear Kelly green and kiss strangers who claim to be Irish. But if your idea of celebrating means pairing a bowl of Lucky Charms with a Shamrock shake, you might want to check out these events, guaranteed to be a wee bit more Irish than some of those strangers.

Irish Metropolis

Irish sounds resound at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. First, the Emerald Isle's Hothouse Flowers offer two shows blending roots rock with indigenous folk. The veteran quartet performs at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, with tickets priced at $45. Then at 7:30 p.m. Monday, locals Arranmore showcase a more traditional side of Celtic music, with guest appearances by Irish singer Marian Bradfield and the McNulty Irish Dancers. Seats cost $37.50. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

-- Jeff Pizek

Shake like Shamrox

In honor of being the most applicably named indoor lacrosse team for St. Paddy's Day, Chicago's Shamrox sends its Hot Rox dance troupe to Bamboo Room, 616 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, on Sunday for a special Irish-themed performance and prize giveaway. The Hot Rox ladies show up prepared with pairs of Shamrox tickets for future Sears Centre games and other freebies. Ask them about dance camp this summer. No cover charge before 9 p.m. Visit mixmasterthrowdown.com.

-- Lisa Balde

Waking 'Flanagan'

A group of improvisers, some audience input, a generous dose of Irish humor and a couple of pints of beer add up to the seasonal comedy "Flanagan's Wake." Noble Fool's long-running production of the interactive show, in which residents of a fictional Irish village turn out to honor one of their own recently departeds, continues through Thursday at the Pheasant Run Resort & Spa, 4051 W. Main St., St. Charles. Performances are at 8:30 p.m. Fridays; 6 and 9 p.m. Saturdays; and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $27, dinner packages from $49. Call (630) 584-6342 or noblefool.org.

-- Barbara Vitello

Moo-morial service

"When Irish Cows are Smiling" returns for another lunch and dinner show engagement at the Milk Pail, 14N630 Route 25, East Dundee. For this audience-participation comedy, guests get to pay their respects at a wake for Mrs. O'Leary's much-maligned cow, blamed for starting the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Shows at noon and 6:30 p.m. today cost $30.95-$35 (price includes show, meal, tax and tip). Reservations required. (847) 742-4041 or themilkpail.com.

-- Scott C. Morgan

Step to it

The Irish American Heritage Center's second annual "Irish Dance Chicago" program features all sorts of step dancers from local schools along with the touring professionals of Trinity Irish Dancers. Curtain time is 7 p.m. today at 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $10. (773) 282-7035 or irishamhc.com.

-- Scott C. Morgan

Irish movie ode

WGN Channel 9 used to run "The Quiet Man" on St. Patrick's Day, back in the era before the CW and WB networks, when it aired films in prime time. I don't know why someone doesn't still make John Ford's movie ode to Ireland an annual St. Patty's fixture. (Turner Classic Movies ran it earlier this week.) But in the DVD era, anyone can act as TV programmer. Sentimental, full of music, delighting in blarney and finishing with a good old-fashioned cross-country donnybrook, "The Quiet Man" stars John Wayne as boxer Sean Thornton, returning to his Irish homeland, where he meets a fair Sheila played by Maureen O'Hara, with Victor McLaglen as her domineering brother and Barry Fitzgerald as the elfin Michele Flynn. Rent it and watch it with a Jameson's over ice and you'll practically be able to smell the River Shannon.

-- Ted Cox

Going green

For St. Patrick's Day, the Berwyn music roadhouse FitzGerald's, 6614 W. Roosevelt Road, goes green in a big way. This year, the music club hosts an all-day festival starting at 2 p.m. Monday with non-stop music, food and dancing running across two stages until midnight. Featured Irish performers include the Dooley Brothers, Irish rock band Kevin Flynn & the Avondale Ramblers, dancers from the Mayer School of Irish dance and many others. Food from neighboring Wishbone will serve up traditional fare including corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, beef stew, plus food for kids. $10 adults, $5 kids 12 and younger. (708) 788-2118 or fitzgeraldsnightclub.com.

-- Mark Guarino

Irish charm a harm?

Pierce Brosnan remains the only Irishman to ever play James Bond in four movies. Now, the engaging 007 actor returns to the silver screen today as the star and narrator of "Married Life," a blackly comic look at what happens when Oscar winner Chris Cooper ("Adaptation") decides to dump his longtime wife Patricia Clarkson for a younger woman, Rachel McAdams. He figures the only humane way to minimize his wife's suffering would be to poison her. He doesn't know that his young lover has fallen for his best friend, played by Brosnan with deadly Irish charm. It's tragically malicious!

-- Dann Gire

Pint-sized fun

Ralph's World spins into Durty Nellie's West Irish Pub Sunday during the venue's annual family-friendly St. Paddy's Celebration. Beginning at 2 p.m., the kids can bop to "Peggy's Pie Parlor Polka" and other favorites from this home-grown talent while adults enjoy pints of Guinness and shepherd's pie. The kid show costs $14.50 and is just one part of a huge celebration of Irish beer, cuisine and music that runs through Monday at Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. Find band times and ticket prices at (847) 358-9150 or www.durtynellies.com.

-- Deborah Pankey

Where to get your Guiness

Quigley's Irish Pub

43 E. Jefferson Ave., Naperville; (630) 428-4774; quigleysirishpub.net

There's nothing like spending St. Patrick's Day within the confines of a traditional Irish pub. It might be chilly on Monday, so hole up in the warm cocoon of the bar, or out in the heated tent specifically set up to celebrate the holiday. New Element performs from 3 to 6 p.m.; Cirrus Falcon performs from 8 p.m. to midnight; $5 cover.

Ballydoyle Irish Pub & Restaurant

5157 Main St., Downers Grove; (630) 969-0600; ballydoylepub.com

At Ballydoyle, St. Patrick's Day isn't just a day-long affair; it's an almost month-long excursion. But of course Monday takes precedence, and Ballydoyle gets the party started at 8 a.m. with a classic "kegs 'n' eggs" Irish buffet. The fun continues throughout the day with multiple appearances by Trinity's own Irish dancers and live performances by traditional Irish musician Aidan O'Toole, Celtic rockers Anish and celebrated Irish favorites the Wolfe Tones.

The Auld Dubliner

641 E. Boughton Road, No. 152, Bolingbrook; (630) 783-1600; aulddubliner.com

If you see anyone with a shaved head around St. Patrick's Day, chances are the maintenance-free coif isn't merely just a fashion statement; it's a visible declaration of support for children battling cancer. As part of the annual St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraiser on Saturday, folks sporting newly sheared noggins can order $4 pints. Rise and shine early on Monday for a traditional Irish breakfast from 8 a.m. until noon. There's a 9 p.m. set by the Ploughboys and $3 Boru Irish vodka specials.

Finn McCool's

1941 E. Algonquin Road, Schaumburg; (847) 303-5100; finnmccoolschicago.com

The folks over at Finn McCool's want everyone to get their "Leprech-On" this St. Patrick's Day with an iPod nano giveaway on Monday. Get $4 Bud Light green aluminum bottles, $2.75 Bud Light green drafts and $4.99 corned beef sandwiches Saturday through Monday.

O'Neill's Pub

236 E. St. Charles Road, Lombard; (630) 627-1600

All the perfunctory pieces are in place at O'Neill's to ring in another St. Patrick's Day. Corned beef and cabbage buffet? Check. Man with a guitar playing traditional Irish drinking songs? Check. Festivities take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday and from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday.

McNally's Traditional Irish Pub

201 E. Main St., St. Charles; (630) 513-6300; mcnallysirishpub.com

It doesn't have to be St. Patrick's Day to enjoy the folk rock tunes of South Side-bred Michael McDermott, but hey, we'll take any excuse necessary to stand within five feet of the dreamboat. He'll perform at 5 p.m. Monday between a bevy of Irish dancers and the Mike & Joe Band at 7:30 p.m.; $8 cover. Enjoy a buffet dinner of corned beef and cabbage out in a heated tent at 4 p.m. Saturday for a special "Irish Cabaret" event for $25. The Gavin Coyle Band and the Muck Brothers perform.

-- Janine Schaults, contributing writer

Parades

One way to enjoy the St. Patrick's Day holiday is by viewing a parade. Floats, marching bands, St. Patrick's Day queens and even a few leprechauns here and there are all part of the parade fun.

Here are some to check out as you celebrate.

East Dundee

11 a.m. Saturday: The parade begins on River Street and then heads north to Barrington Avenue, west to Water Street and north to Rosie O'Hares Public House. (847) 426-2822 or www.eastdundee.net.

Elmhurst

Noon Saturday: The parade kicks off at Wilson Street and Spring Road in Elmhurst. Visit www.elmhurststpatsparade.com.

Lake Villa

Noon Saturday: The parade sets off from Palombi School at 133 McKinley Ave. and ends at the train station on Railroad Avenue. (847) 356-6100 or www.lake-villa.org.

Naperville

10 a.m. Saturday: The parade begins at Naperville North High School on Mill Street and ends at Naperville's Municipal Center on Water Street. Visit www.wsirish.org.

Chicago

Noon Saturday: The Downtown Chicago St. Patrick's Day parade starts at Balboa and Columbus Drive. The reviewing stand is at Buckingham Fountain. Before the parade, the dyeing of the Chicago River begins at 10:45 a.m. and can be best viewed from the upper-level bridges at Michigan Avenue or Columbus Drive. Visit www.chicagostpatsparade.com.