by Anura Guruge
It is NOT a reenactment of the original from 20-years ago.
It was good, with some EXTREMELY brilliant dance segments (albeit, many of them NOT Irish), but the best way to describe it is that it was a watered down version.
Everything had been scaled back — starting with the stage. Even IF you hadn’t seen the original you would have been struck by how small the stage was. It was, at best, 70% the size of a normal stage at a theatre.
Please refer to this, June 11, 2017, post for pictures of the titchy stage.
Well, starting with the stage everything else was also on the small side. The orchestra was just 4 people, one of them the drummer. The huge, iconic hanging drum they had in the original was not to be seen.
More fiddle and flute segments, some of them quite long and less Irish dancing — or dancing in general.
A Russian dance segment, which was VERY, VERY good, which I do not remember from the original.
What I refer to as the “West Side Story” segment only had 6 dancers on stage, 4 Irish, one black and one Latino. The latter two were QUITE OUTSTANDING. The stars of the show — and they knew it!
Some good dance segments — from the original, and it was good to see them.
The lighting and graphics, as one would hope, was superior to what was used 20-years ago.
The kids in the audience loved it — including 11-year old Teischan.
The lady (a stranger) I sat next to, like I, had seen the original in Boston 20-years ago. We compared notes. She pointed out the scaled-back nature before I brought it up. So, I was not alone.
I can’t be 100% sure of this BUT I got a distinct feeling that the ‘twinkling toe’ sounds on the ‘board’ were LIP-SYNCHED! I hope I am wrong.
P.S., Cameras were not permitted in the arena.
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by Anura Guruge