An exciting collaboration between Portland Stage and Maine State Music Theatre.

By Frank McCourt
Original musical arrangements by Rusty Magee
Produced by Portland Stage in collaboration with Maine State Music Theatre, at Portland Stage, 25A Forest Avenue, Portland.

THE IRISH… AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY is an uplifting musical celebration of all things Irish in the tumultuous 20th and 21st centuries through the eyes of Pulitzer Prize winning author, Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes, ‘Tis, Teacher Man). McCourt’s razor-sharp wit, coupled with his trademark bitter irony, and his boundless love for the Irish are all underscored by glorious music extending all the way from the auld Irish folk ballades, through George M. Cohan’s patriotic love songs to America, World War II standards sung in films of the era, USOs and foxholes all over the world, as well as beloved contemporary hits.

Two of Maine’s most revered cultural institutions, Portland Stage in Portland and Maine State Music Theatre (MSMT) in Brunswick, announce a partnership that will bring a closer connection between the two communities and deepen the program offerings for both theatres’ audiences.

Reserve a Room at a Special Rate

We are proud to team up with The Westin to offer discounted Traditional Double Rooms for all attendees of The Irish…and How They Got That Way! $199 plus state tax for Traditional Double Rooms through September 11, 2016. Offer not available August 19, 20 & 27th. To book your reservation, contact Daniel Leonard at 207.517.8836 or email



Frank McCourt

Playwright and author Frank McCourt was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Limerick, Ireland. He spent 27 years teaching in the New York City public school system before embarking on a writing career. After retiring from teaching, Frank and his brother performed their two-man show, A Couple of Blaguards, a musical review about their Irish youth. Frank’s childhood memoir, Angela’s Ashes, spent 117 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was the winner of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Frank McCourt died at the age of 78 on July 19, 2009. He remains one of the most celebrated and beloved Irish-American authors of our time.

Cast & Artists