By Amanda VanNostrand.
Two men walk into a bar; we’ve all heard this opening line. Abbey Theatre is currently offering the live version of this story through Two Pints, and in this instance two men walk into a bar and wholeheartedly entertain their audience. Hosted at Blarney Stone Pub at 3929 Sansom Street in University City, this two-man show (two men and a quiet bartender) is unique in its setting and delivery, and certainly comes recommended by this reviewer.
‘One’, played by Liam Carney, and ‘Two’, played by Philip Judge, are the main characters in this gem of a show. Of course, it wouldn’t be a bar without the Barman, Laurence Lowry, who passes each requested drink to the pair of gentlemen throughout. One and Two meet three times in the show, each time being partitioned with a twenty-minute intermission which allows audience members to order drinks of choice. Made up of simple conversation between these two seemingly long-time friends, one deals with the decline and eventual loss of his beloved father as the other holds him up with drinks and witty conversation. The two joke and laugh between serious heart-to-hearts about life and death, heaven and hell, the rich and the ordinary, and so much more. The relationship between the men seems to be typical of Irishmen: they are there for one-another over Irish favorites: pints of Guinness and glasses of Jameson, and when things get too serious and sappy, comedy is used to glaze over the impending awkwardness. With just the right balance of sappy, serious, and sidesplitting, audience members are sure to enjoy their time eavesdropping on these two hilarious, deep-spirited Irishmen.
Carney and Judge are two perfectly fitted pieces of a puzzle. Their quick wit and quirky natures bring authenticity to the friendship of their characters, and the two do not skip a beat in their unrelenting conversation. As they kick back multiple Irish beverages, the realness of their pain, curiosity, and friendship comes alive in the bar as one would imagine occurs often between Irishmen.
From subjects such as the Royal Family and Car Parks to tonsils and Adam’s Apples, all the way to what Heaven will be like to each of us and how it is to lose a father, this show brings entertainment to the best of places: an Irish Pub. Certainly a fun experience, Two Pints is a show to be witnessed by all who appreciate combinations of good drinks and great company.