- Don Ford
Don Reviews "Riverdance: 20th Anniversary"
It’s been a while, but here is another fact about yours truly: I am half German, from my mom’s side (what do you expect with a family name of Kuyatt) and half Irish, from my dad’s side. I did travel to Europe once, which included a stop in London, and since I was so close to the homeland, I had to go to Ireland. My time there was the best vacation I ever had, seeing the culture, history, and overall lifestyle of the people was fascinating.
“Riverdance: 20 Years” is the production directed by John McColgan and produced by Moya Doherty and features Maggie Darlington, Amy-Mae Dolan, Gianna Petracic, Kieran Hardiman, Jason O’Neill, and Callum Spencer with Mark Alfred on percussion, Ceilidh Briscoe on fiddle, Emmas Frampton on saxophone, and Tara Howley on Uilleann pipes and low/tin whistles. The basic production is the live musicians playing their respective instruments while an array of different and multi-cultural styles of dance perform with tap shoes from solos to duets to full ensembles as well as simply featuring the musicians and singers with no dialogue.
The set design is basically an open floor with a raised framed big screen on the back wall, with the percussion audience right and the other three musicians audience left, which was done very well. The visuals of the lighting and the back video screen had some great moment. There are really no stage props used, but none were needed. The singing and music balance is right on, fitting perfectly with what was going on in the production at the time, with all of the soloists doing a wonderful job.
There is a little back soundtrack added, and I do not know if there a live band or if it was pre-recorded. I have to give a shout out Tara Howley, who played the Uillean pipes along with other wind instruments, who had a solo truly hit it out of the park. When it comes to the dancing, it was basically done with tap shoes with the entire troupe in-sync and is wonderful visually. I did like how there was more than just the Irish style dance, which I think many have the perception of that have never been to the show. There is also a Spanish, Russian and event “street” style dance, and I truly enjoyed the “dance off” in that particular sequence. All of the cast did wonderful when they were on stage and they show how talented they truly are. I had a little bit of an expectation when it came to this performance, but I was truly blown away. I truly have no faults with this production, and I will definitely recommend this production as the best ticket price available recommendation.