But the script has a good heart, takes on meaningful themes with gusto, and succeeds in some deliciously colorful comedy. It's best in seemingly off-hand moments that show a keen eye for cultural difference as Brendan experiences, ponders it, and tries to make it his own. As he lets go of his roots and starts trying to say that things are "awesome" instead of "grand," Brendan's opening up is genuinely affecting. Perhaps an equally important question, in our ever-evolving land shaped by immigrants, is what parts of one's roots are worth holding on to.

Megan Grumbling can be reached at mgrumbling@hotmail.com.

BRENDAN | by Ronan Noone | Directed by Tony Reilly | Produced by the American Irish Repertory Ensemble | at Portland Stage Company's Studio Theater | through April 16 | 207.799.5327

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