It should have been his ’68 Comeback Special. But in the end the five concerts Garth Brooks was to perform at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, became a dashed dream. For Brooks, but especially for the fans, who passionately protested the decision of the city manager to deny a license for two of the shows, after residents living near the venue threatened a lawsuit. Now, according to an Irish website, the whole ordeal is being made into a play, set to debut in Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre later this year.
The story will look at the events leading up to the cancellation of Brooks’ concerts through the eyes of a country music mega-fan, played by Irish actress Deirdre O’Kane. The play’s cheeky title? Are You There Garth? It’s Me, Margaret. Following its two-week Dublin run, the production, written by Fiona Looney, will travel around Ireland, making stops in Galway, Cork and Limerick.
Last July, Brooks addressed the last-minute cancellations of the Croke Park concerts, which were to be staged over five days that month, during a press conference in Nashville. With the “Friends in Low Places” singer holding tight to his promise to perform five concerts for the Irish fans — “It’s five shows or none at all,” he said — he ultimately was forced to call off the entire engagement when two of the shows lost their permits.
“Ireland’s people should never be embarrassed. Most loving people on earth,” Brooks said to reporters. “If the prime minister himself wants to talk to me, I will craw, I will swim… I will drop on my knees and beg for those 400,000 people to have fun and come sing.
“If anyone on the planet is sad about [the cancellations], you’re not one-billionth as sad as I am.”
Brooks will bring his world tour to Detroit tomorrow night, kicking off the first of four evenings at the Joe Louis Arena. On April 17th, he and wife Trisha Yearwood will host the first-ever fundraising event for ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music, shuttling back and forth between two separate galas in Dallas and Fort Worth.