Around Town: The Irish Beat / Carol Beggy

Well-known on the local theater scene, Alice Duffy sure took her time to make her Broadway debut. The 83-year-old is just wrapping up her run in Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter” at the American Airlines Theater in Boston. The child of performers, Duffy is the sister of the late Peter Boyle, best know to TV viewers as the ornery father on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Duffy has called Boston home for a number of years and is a favorite among local theater companies.

She recently told a network news show that she “never thought about being on Broadway, really, and then this opportunity came up.” It’s by chance that it started in Boston. The Huntington Theatre Company’s then artistic director, Nicholas Martin, directed the Boston University company’s production of “Present Laughter” and asked Duffy to reprise her role on Broadway. Duffy also has a few film bits to her credit, including “HouseSitter” and “School Ties,” but it is on stage that she made her name.
“Yes, I waited until now to make my debut,” Duffy said. “There clearly wasn’t a plan.”
When word spread through Boston’s Irish community that bartender Kevin A. Armitage had died, the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day took on a somber tone in the pubs in Jamaica Plain. As dozens of Irish-born and Irish-American friends gathered on the night of March 12 at the Brendan Behan Pub, the crowds spilled out into the street with people telling stories and reminiscing about the 46-year-old who always seemed to find the time to look out for someone from Ireland or make an immigrant’s transition to living and working in Boston easier.
The Galway-born music lover came to Boston when he was 19 and began working in area pubs. His brother, Rory, who is a bartender at James’s Gate in Jamaica Plain, followed him a few years later.
Armitage, who most recently held down the fort at The Littlest Bar in Boston’s Financial District, previously worked at Phoenix Landing in Cambridge’s Central Square and Flannery O’Brien’s in Mission Hill.
But he did much more than expertly pour pints of Guinness. A music aficionado who resembled U2’s Bono, Armitage often helped out up and coming Irish bands, like Snow Patrol, when they made their first trips to Boston. After a small Boston service, Armitage’s family and friends gathered in Galway for a memorial service there.

Anastasia Kelly made headlines as the chief in-house lawyer for the embattled financial giant American International Group, but that was nothing compared to the buzz she caused when she spoke out about a cap on employee compensation. Kelly spoke out to Fortune Magazine about the concerns that lead her to leave AIG. “For someone to say, ‘I think you’re doing a great job, Stasia, but the American people hate you and therefore we think you should make no more than $500,000 a year’ -- there’s no logic to that. It wasn’t something I could live with. I guess that’s the Irish in me,” she told the magazine.
A Boston native who attended from Trinity College before studying at George Washington University at night, Kelly worked at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, now Wilmer Hale before going to AIG. But don’t worry about her future. She recently joined DLA Piper’s Washington office.