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Family ties

Whether you travel to the ends of the earth or just skip over the nearest border, your family is bound to follow -- if not physically, then certainly in spirit. That's precisely what happens to Charlie Tynan, the Irish-born writer at the heart of Hugh Leonard's 1973 play "Da," which opens in the Irish Classical Theatre Company's Andrews Theatre on Thursday.

The Irish Classical, no stranger to this play, is mounting it "with a sentimental nod" to its late co-founder Chris O'Neill, who originated the role of Young Charlie in the world premiere of the play in Dublin's Olympia Theatre. O'Neill went on to play Charlie as a grown man and finally his father, the titular "Da." In this production, directed by Vincent O'Neill, Gerry Maher plays the title role, Patrick Moltane plays Charlie and Joe Liolos is Young Charlie.

Leonard's comic and sentimental drama, in which Charlie must "confront his past and come to terms with his feelings about family, death and the beautiful complexities of family relationships," was the first Irish work to win the Tony Award for best play, in 1978.

Tickets are $15 to $42, with more information at 853-4282 or www.irishclassicaltheatre.com.

-- Colin Dabkowski