City of Lowell St. Patrick’s Day Dinner – Review

Dinner Photo courtesy of the SUN

It’s always fun and interesting for me to go to the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast which this year became a Dinner. You get to see people you haven’t seen for a while like Jim and Jack Dolan, Mike Gallagher, Mike Kunzler, Chet Szablak, Mary Jo Griffen, Dick Howe Jr., Ziggy Burns – who looks great and John’s Nappi and McDonough.

Aside from the fact the UMass Inn and Conference center served RED Corned Beef instead of Grey (and has a result got Brenda Bomil mad at me), the food was very good but the drinks, very overpriced (I’ll stay at Maguire’s in Dracut for my St. Patrick’s Day celebrations).

Our table was tucked into a corner giving us a side view of the head table and not allowing us to see the projection screens(My pal Warren blames that on me, saying Manager Murphy put me in the corner has a form of discipline.) but overall it was a good seat, close to the door (and bar access) and getting to see people has they came in.

Host Sen. Donoghue is a lovely lady but try has she might, she’s not a very good joke teller. She has energy and enthusiasm but her delivery isn’t very good. She should stick to being the MC/host introducing the guest and moving people off and on.

Manager Murphy the Co-host was very funny, using his time to skew former Manager Lynch (he should probably trade mark and sell the Jim Campanni Dart Board) and overall did a fine job. His jokes about his long friendship with the Mayor and being the “Big brother” I found very funny.

He wanted to add more music and “entertainment” but when you have that many tables / people and not a raised stage, the Irish step dancers are an excuse to head to the restroom or bar and should be eliminated. The music should start early, play through the meal and then end when the speaking portion starts. Trying to get the audience to sing along doesn’t work in this type of environment. Leave that to the locals at Wicked Irish and the Worthen on St. Patrick’s Day.

Governor Charlie Baker was funny and engaging and comes across has a guy who enjoys telling a joke/story getting a few laughs and then getting off. Not long, drawn out like others have been and played along with the other speakers when they used him in their jokes. (also showed what a smart politician he is by NOT putting on a large hat the Mayor attempted to place on his head.) His line to Councilor Corey Belanger about “Anything for You” was funny considering the rumors that Corey may be in need of employment and to his credit, Corey played along telling the Gov..Thanks I’ll be in touch, (Paraphrasing on my part)

Mayor Elliott was the star! Anyone who attempts to sing in front of a large group to try to get a laugh while also being self deprecating gets an A for effort. He may not be the best singer and fumbled his words (which added to the fun) His version of the Wild Rover (No Nay Never) changed to “I’ll never be the wild councilor no more” was outstanding. Others read much more into it than what I think is really there but his other song to the Governor and his song with the Reps. dedicated to Manager Murphy was pretty good and very funny. All in all he was the king of the night and his other jokes about being out so much because he’s the Mayor, he doesn’t recognize his wife was also pretty good.

The Treasurer Deb Goldberg BOMBED! She is NOT a good story-teller or jokester and her attempt fell flat with the crowd. She stopped by to say hello at the tables, is very personable but should be banned from ever speaking at this event in the future for the audiences sake.

State Rep. Tom Golden seemed briefer than usual but was steady as always. His line about Councilor Corey Belanger being the gift that keeps on giving for the BLOGS drew loud laughter (because it’s true) and his shot at his Cousin City Councilor Dan Rourke was great.. (paraphrasing) ..Glad to see my cousin Councilor Dan Rourke has lost over 50 pounds..should make it easier to CARRY HIM this year!

State Rep. Dave Nangle who usually is pretty funny and the phone bit over the past few years became a classic. This year Dave never really hit the mark and even the joke presenting the Gov. with a Chicken Pie from Lenzi’s wasn’t that funny. Hopefully next year, Dave finds a new phone (or better writers).

After the Mayor new State Rep. Rady Mom was the clear star of the night. Funny, warm (often laughing at his own jokes) he was great. (again paraphrasing on my part)..Do you how hard it is to find Hooked on Phonetics for Joke telling??…..My friend Tom Golden took me around my first day at the State House promising he would introduce me to all the really important people I would need to know ,I met the entire leadership and every bartender around the State House..My friend City Councilor Dan Rourke and I have a lot in common, ENGLISH IS BOTH OF OUR 2ND LANGUAGE!

Ted Panos and his co-host on WCAP did a fine job broadcasting but Teddy may have put my Saturday Morning spot in jeopardy. He has Leslie Bodor with him every day and Monday Night had Methuen State Rep. Diana DiZoglio has his co-host. Shaw remarked he has to look at me at 6:00 in the morning and Teddy gets all the women. Panos is out-Shawing Shaw and that may cost me down the road.(send your resumes and head shots to Warren@WCAP)

All in all it was an enjoyable night, raised some money to help in the opiate fight and everyone walked away smiling!

If You missed it, check out Lowell Ch. 22 for the replay (I believe it is on at 9:00 tonight)