I must admit to having listened to the soundtrack CD to this show a few many
times too often. I think this lessens the impact of the show, which would
otherwise be outstanding. Still, I was impressed, very impressed.
best parts of the show this time around were those segments that were not on the
soundtrack. This includes most of the singing, which was absolutely
There was very little story to follow, which made it a little difficult to
link the separate segments. It appears to me that the first half takes
place in Ireland, where the people are poor, waiting for a new life, or hope for
a new life. When the second part starts, people are saying good-bye, and
are perhaps leaving for the New World. When they arrive, most of what we
see is joy.
As a result, the first half is not as energetic as the second half. It
is in no way boring, but it is just not quite as interesting. Of course,
the people three rows down couldn't figure out where they were supposed to sit,
so they were a constant distraction through half of the first act. Still,
the dancing, chanting, singing were all amazing. My favorite parts are
still the step dancing-tap dancing combinations. The two lead dancers were
incredible, and loaned their energy and routines to the others on stage, as
well. They entered and exited the stage as individuals, and left the same
way, in an interesting series of moves.
The songs that accompanied both acts were simply haunting. Some of it
was in English, but I think the most part of it was probably some form of
Gaelic. It was undoubtedly mournful of some loss or separation. When they
have arrived in America, the songs are still slow and haunting, but are somehow
very much happier. There was one set that showed love between the two
leads that was passionate and effortless. It was beautiful.
But the main attraction was the dancing. I don't understand what the
Spanish woman was doing in this show, being of Irish immigrants, but she was
mesmerizing. In two sequences, she danced up a storm. The first,
again in the first act, was more sad, even though she showed off against other
dancers. In the second act, she let loose, and had incredible energy, and
more incredible footwork.
The best part of the show had to be the step competition. Two black men
were dancing to their jazz beat, tippety-tappity in their tap shoes, doing an
incredible job. Then, along come three Irish boys, with their fiddler.
They compete in a stunning set of sequences that had the whole audience in
cheers and laughter. The competition was good-natured, and by the end,
they were friends. But while trying to get the appreciation of the
audience, the two groups did some amazing things. They could even dance
out specific beats, over and over. It was incredible.
After that, the ensembles were the most engrossing of all the acts.
When they got together on stage, all the dancers were completely mesmerizing,
nearly every one of them blondes or red-heads. And when the two leads
joined them, things got even better.
The music was also amazing, especially the Riverdance theme.
Fortunately, the band was lit up in the background for much of the show, and if
we could tear our eyes away from the dancers, we could appreciate what they were
doing, as well. It is unfortunate that all of this didn't make its
way onto the soundtrack.
But it is also fortunate, because there were some things that I could look
forward to that I had completely forgotten about. I still love the music,
and putting it all together with the terrific dancing makes for a totally
engrossing and entertaining performance.