Right before intermission, right when Lucifer himself—dressed smartly, of course—has trapped our alcoholic antihero into playing a card game for his soul, "The Wild Cats of Kilkenny," a lively instrumental by the Pogues, rips over the loudspeakers. It's the perfect song for this Irish play. The Seafarer, like the Pogues, is relentlessly contemporary but steeped in old mythology. It's also poetic, melancholy, and swollen with booze. The characters, excepting Lucifer, are all drunks in a filthy living room on Christmas Eve. Their hearts are battlegrounds where bitterness fights with reckless optimism. But when Richard—old, blind, reeking—calls Lucifer "one maudlin fucker," we know which side will win. (Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. 2 pm, $15–$55. Through March 28.)

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