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McSwiggin’s Pub Cole Studio – 1714 15th Street NW (Rear)

Remaining Performances: Wednesday, July 16 @ 9:00 PM Sunday, July 20 @ 2:00 PM Thursday, July 24 @ 7:00 PM Saturday, July 26 @ 3:00 PM

They say: McSwiggin’s Pub is a one man comedy show featuring DC resident Sean O’Brien, a former performer at Chicago’s Second City, ImprovOlympic and Noble Fool theaters, now working at the comic theater known as Congress. This show features three characters engaging in night of hard drinking, political blarney and keno.

Mike’s take: Ralph Nader, Barack Obama and Barry Manilow all walk into an Irish bar…

McSwiggin’s Pub is an entertaining comedy that blends fresh, contemporary political humor with local DC stereotypes. Sean O’Brien effortlessly switches between three main characters: Joe, an on-the-wagon Irish bartender; Howard, a disgruntled veteran Capitol Hill staffer originally from New York; and Roy, a young, passionate, slightly alcoholic, senior legislative “something-or-other” Capitol Hill flunkie (complete with Blackberry). While his accents could use a bit of work, O’Brien manages to give each personality its fair share of the spotlight—so we can gain a bit of insight as to why they frequent the pub night after night.

O’Brien’s jokes get chuckles and genuine belly laughs from the audience throughout the 45 minutes (I even heard a few snorts). There are also a few instances of audience-participation as well, which sets the tone from the beginning that we are actually spectators to the drunken conversations in an actual bar.

I received an omen before the show that it was going to be a good performance when the couple behind me popped open a bottle of wine. I guess they figured that the subject matter made it appropriate. And who know—maybe it accounts for the raucous standing ovation Sean received at the end.

See it if: You watch American Idol only during the first few episodes (for the auditions).

Skip it if: You work on the Hill and are easily offended.