Arts and Entertainment

If you foresee disaster looming in a friend’s romantic relationship, is it fair game to speak up?  And if you do speak up, will your criticism ruin your own relationship with that friend? Those are the challenges faced in “Robyn is Happy,” kicking off the... Read more
There’s nothing in the Musician’s Universal Handbook that says you have to be friends with your bandmates: creative differences, artistic temperament, hours of rehearsal, schlepping to and from gigs – all that can be pretty demanding on a relationship.... Read more
For a dozen years now, fiddlers from Greater Boston and elsewhere have gone to their own special hell – and they couldn’t be happier about it. Massachusetts Fiddle Hell, which takes place Nov. 3-5 in Westford, is an annual gathering that brings together... Read more
Kevin Crawford, Dylan Foley and Patrick Doocey, “The Drunken Gaugers” • Two-thirds of Lúnasa (Crawford and Doocey) meet one-third of The Yanks (Foley), but of course, there’s more to it than that. All three are supremely accomplished musicians who are... Read more
Newton native Colin Kadis may look like your average, happy-go-lucky, unassuming college freshman. As his friends will tell you, however, he’s about as serious an Irish musician as there is: Someone who doesn’t just play the notes but who is a dedicated... Read more
Evan O’Brien is a man steeped in history. As creative director of the award-winning Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, he manages the creation and maintenance of all exhibits, programming, tour scripting and special events for the museum. He also... Read more
Usher’s Island, “Usher’s Island” • Sports analogies can be pernicious yet so tantalizing. So when you hear of a band with an “all-star line-up,” it’s tempting sometimes to think of a team loaded with Most Valuable Player candidates, seemingly destined... Read more
A family story can be a precious heirloom, passed among relatives and across generations. But sometimes, the story is so inspiring, so compelling, it has to be shared with the wider world. Such is the case for Brighton resident Louise Bichan, a fiddler... Read more
Ten men, in four boats, coursing through The Grand Canyon. This is “Men On Boats,” the fearless, comic adventures of an actual 1869 expedition by ten volunteer explorers who set out to chart The Colorado River.  SpeakEasy Stage Company is presenting the... Read more
Yes, they’re called “Makem and Clancy,” but they’re not that Makem and Clancy. Not exactly, anyway. Rory Makem and Donal Clancy – the sons of, respectively, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy – are justifiably proud of their families’ storied place in Irish... Read more
Sharon Shannon, “Sacred Earth” • There aren’t many people who can pull off making an accordion-centric album featuring a waltz from a 1905 operetta; Shetland fiddlers playing a New England-style reel; an innovative, Berklee-educated cellist; African... Read more
The women in the songs on Lindsay Straw’s latest album don’t possess super powers or wear skintight, flashy costumes, nor do they have secret identities or high-tech headquarters. But they’re heroic nonetheless, relying on pluck, wit, cleverness, strength... Read more
Karen Murphy has traveled the globe as a much-in-demand actress and singer, who has appeared on Broadway and in major touring companies, has performed in concert and presented her own highly acclaimed one-woman show, “Torch Goddess.” Happily, her career... Read more
Philip Maguire doesn’t lay claim to being a philosopher, but then again he does seem to have a pretty good angle on what it takes to be part of a suddenly popular Irish music family band that features two teenagers and one pre-teen. First, you don’t so... Read more
Some 70,000 fans jammed into Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on the night of Sun., June 25, to hear for themselves that U2 has still got it. Bono & Co., who are on a 17-city tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree album, didn’t... Read more
Van Morrison, “Keep Me Singing” • It’s the 36th studio album for the one-time window cleaner from Ulster – now into his eighth decade – and the first one in four years containing new material. Eleven of the songs on “Keep Me Singing” are Morrison’s... Read more
July will see some celebrated female Irish/Celtic acts come to Greater Boston and vicinity: • Mary Black, one of Ireland’s most influential and accomplished female singers, will bring her “Last Call” tour to Eastern Massachusetts this month with two... Read more
Hanneke Cassel has now spent half her life in Boston, and it’s fair to say she has made the most of that time: anchoring Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton sessions in and around the city; performing at venues such as Johnny D’s, Somerville Theater and Club... Read more
Last summer, Broadway’s Ciarán Sheehan delivered a heartfelt performance as Billy Bigelow in “Carousel” at Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham. This month, the acclaimed Dublin-born actor, singer, producer, healer returns to Reagle from July 6-16 to star as... Read more
For fiddler Tommy Peoples, a key figure in the late 20th-century Irish music revival, Boston was a relatively brief but enjoyable interlude in a long and productive career. A Donegal native, Peoples was an original member of The Bothy Band, appearing on... Read more