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Arts and Entertainment

Gaelic Roots spring schedule is set

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, January 2, 2014

Change of date: the Keenan/Noonan performance is Thursday, Jan 23.
Uilleann pipes virtuoso Paddy Keenan and Boston College faculty musicians Jimmy Noonan and Sheila Falls will be among the performers featured during the spring 2014 Gaelic Roots series of traditional music that starts this month.
Directed by Sullivan Artist-in-Residence and master fiddler Séamus Connolly and sponsored by the Boston College Center for Irish Programs, the series brings to campus acclaimed musicians and experts in Irish, Scottish, and other related Gaelic music traditions.
Gaelic Roots events, all of which begin at 6:30 p.m., are free and open to the public. Read more

Playwright Walsh hails the magic of ‘Once’

By R. J. Donovan, special to the BIR, January 2, 2014

“Once” first sparked to life as a tiny, 2007 independent Irish film about the power of music to draw people together. The two main characters are simply called Guy and Girl. Guy is a struggling Dublin street musician who has lost faith in his talent and his life. He crosses paths with Girl, a Czech immigrant who shows him his work is not yet done. Over the course of one fateful week, they diligently collaborate on music and an unlikely love emerges. However, complications follow. Read more

Tom Courtney’s first CD is a thank you to those who helped his music take off

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, January 2, 2014

Dublin native Tom Courtney regards his debut CD as a tribute album of sorts: an expression of gratitude to songwriters and singers who have inspired him the most since he started performing seriously more than two decades ago. “I’ve played these songs for quite a while,” says Courtney, a Boston resident since 1991, who released the 10-track “Guysborough Train” this past year. “I wanted to record them with the sense that I’m giving something back, and saying ‘Thank you for writing these great songs.’” Read more

Dot’s Warren back home in ‘I Love Lucy’

By R.J. Donovan, special to the BIR, December 2, 2013

Lucy: Carolynne Warren misses Dorchester’s sense of neighborhood.Lucy: Carolynne Warren misses Dorchester’s sense of neighborhood.
Christmas is coming a little early for Dorchester native Carolynne Warren, who has built a successful career as an actress and entrepreneur in Los Angeles. The actress will find herself onstage at Boston’s Colonial Theatre from Dec. 3 to Dec. 22 as a member of the national tour of “I Love Lucy: Live On Stage.”

When she was growing up on Geneva Avenue in Fields Corner, she says she never dared dream of such a gig. Her Boston story includes local iconic highlights like the school dances at Florian Hall, Mass at St. Peter’s, dance classes at Fields Corner, high school at Boston Latin, and regular appearances “in my Nana’s kitchen.” Along the way, she picked up a diploma from Harvard University along the way.

Warren has been a member of Second City in Chicago, has appeared in several one-woman shows, and is the founder of Hey Dollface! Productions. She was back in Boston previously to appear in “Menopause: The Musical” at the Stuart Street Playhouse and “The Light In The Piazza” at SpeakEasy Stage. Read more

New CD and concert DVD in hand, Childsplay troupe is hitting the road

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, December 2, 2013

It’s another landmark year for the Boston-based all-star fiddle ensemble Childsplay, which heads out on its annual tour this month on the heels of a new CD, “As the Crow Flies,” and concert DVD, “Fiddlers, Fiddles and Fiddlemaker.” Read more

‘New sounds’ emphasis helps keep Celtic Sojourn a ‘fresh’ attraction

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, December 2, 2013

Boston-area musicians Maeve Gilchrist and Mariel Vandersteel will be among the featured performers as “A Christmas Celtic Sojourn” begins its second decade of flavoring the Christmas holiday season with music, song, dance, and storytelling from Irish, Scottish and other Celtic – even non-Celtic – traditions. Read more

Fiddler of Dooney (Boston) is an artist of the Midwest

By Sean Smith, special to the BIR, October 31, 2013

Irish literature fans know “The Fiddler of Dooney” as one of W. B. Yeats’s most famous works, with its memorable opening lines: “When I play on my fiddle in Dooney/folk dance like a wave of the sea.” But the poem also is the namesake of a venerable Irish fiddle competition in Sligo whose winners have included such luminaries as Seamus Connolly, Kathleen Collins, Seamus McGuire, Paddy Glackin, and Cathal Hayden.
And now, the Boston area has its own Fiddler of Dooney. Read more

BCMFest set for January 10-11 at Harvard Sq. venues

By Sean Smith, Special to the BIR, special to the BIR, October 31, 2013

This January, BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest) will begin its second decade of celebrating the Boston area’s abundance of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic-related music and dance traditions.
The 11th annual BCMFest, which takes place on January 10-11, 2014, will once again bring together dozens of local musicians, singers and dancers to present performances as well as participatory music and dance events. Family-friendly and genuinely grassroots, the festival is held in the heart of Harvard Square, starting with the Friday night “Roots and Branches” concert at Club Passim and the Boston Urban Ceilidh – BCMFest’s always-popular Celtic dance party – just around the corner at The Atrium, 50 Church Street. Read more

Róisín O is now in hot pursuit of her own voice, her own words

By Sean Smith, Special to the BIR, special to the BIR, October 31, 2013

At one point between songs during her recent performance at The Burren, Róisín O’Reilly – more familiarly known as Róisín O – tuned her guitar, adjusted the capo, and gave the audience a sly smile.
“I assume,” she deadpanned, “that most of you know who my mommy is.”
There was applause and laughter from the crowd, because, yes, most of them do in fact know that her mother is Mary Black, one of Ireland’s most celebrated female singers. Read more

Moonbox presenting ‘Earnest’ in Boston Allison Olivia Choat in the director’s chair

By R.J. Donovan, Special to the Reporter, special to the BIR, October 31, 2013

“The Importance of Being Earnest” stands as one of the world’s most enduring plays. Written by Dublin-born Oscar Wilde in 1895, the witty comedy of good manners is set in Victorian London and filled with mistaken identities, secret engagements and baffled suitors.
At its heart, it’s populated by characters who create fictitious personas in order to avoid social obligations they find tiresome. More than a century later, Wilde would no doubt marvel at the abundance of questionable Facebook pages and fictitious dating profiles splashed across the Internet. The play shows the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Allison Olivia Choat is directing the latest production of “Earnest,” presented by Moonbox Productions at The Boston Center for the Arts from November 22 to December 14. Read more