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2007-10-06 Lexington

reviewed by Linda and Gary

I have to preface the review with two comments. Firstly, the weather was 24 degrees hotter than the average. It was in the low nineties and very humid. We were expecting a very cool Michigan with all its foliage in bright autumn colors. NOT SO! While we were standing in the heat and waiting for the doors to open we chatted with Pat and her friend Brenda and two ladies to just happened to come to town and bought tickets. In the front of the line was a young lady who had reportedly been to the concert the night before. Hoping that she was a fan club member I introduced myself to Angela. I'm sure you will be hearing from this lady from Pennsylvania.

Secondly, our friends were of differing opinions as to what they were going to experience at the concert. Jane was sure that she would love the CTs as much as we do. She had heard their albums when visiting us. Her husband Craig was going along only to be polite. When he heard that the lads were opera trained he was sure he wouldn't be able to understand a word. We didn't tell him different even though he enjoys Irish traditional music.

The Lexington Music Theater is in a small quaint town on Lake Huron. The theater itself is a converted warehouse. The young couple that renovated the building took 3-4 years to make a beautiful 300-seat theater with cabaret, main floor and balcony seating. The woodwork alone was gorgeous. In my excitement I forgot to take pictures of the building. Matthew did say that it was hard to figure out where to stand, as the stage was not centered.

After Danny was introduced he sat down and started playing the "Star of the County Down". Craig was pleased, a song he knew and liked and a bouncy start to a wonderful evening.

With the first few introductory notes the audience sighed with pleasure knowing they were going to hear "Caledonia". Now, Craig is won over! If they keep this up he can put up with a few operatic songs.

Daryl's dedication to his parents before "You Raise Me Up" impressed Jane. She thinks it is wonderful that he shares his feelings of promoting harmony and not keeping things to himself.

The cute "An Poc Ar Buile" roused the audience. The CTs then sang with a glint of mischief in their eyes, knowing that a ship couldn't possibly be that big, "Irish Rover".

Donna came on stage in a lavender gown with a rhinestone buckle on a hip sash. What a refreshing change from the previous song. Donna and the lads sang "Barcarolle".

Donna's solo of "O Mio Babbino Caro", showed her greater maturity and improvement in voice. She has the poise of someone who has been on stage for years.

The third recognizable "best of each opera" was "Libiamo" with the four harmonizing to perfection.

"Angel of Mercy" was dedicated to the memory of Holly. The song is so filled with compassion. I'll never know how the CTs could have sung this at Holly's funeral. Such strength!

The song sung by children during play was next. "I'll Tell Me Ma" had the audience clapping and having a good time. Just who is this belle from Belfast City, anyway?

The old saying, you could hear a pin drop, was proven correct when the a cappella "Shenandoah" was sung. At one point, James and Matthew faced each other and sang with lilting ease.

The last song before the interval was "Remember Me" with the usual dedication. I'll never tire of this song. Being a fan of Phil Coulter and the Celtic Tenors gives double the enjoyment when hearing this beautiful song.

Joyce was set up just to the side of the stage and a few CD's were sold during the intermission. It is always so nice to see and chat with Joyce. She's also a big believer in hugs!

The second half was opened with "Anthem" from "Chess". This is another song I will never tire of, such beautiful music and heart rendering loyalty.

The traditional fun and rousing, good hand clapping "Wild Rover" was next. This audience required no instruction on the art of hand clapping.

Alas, there was no red haired girl to tease during "An Cailin Rua", but we all enjoyed anyway.

Donna came out in a black sequined cocktail length dress to sing Katie. This song is on Donna's first CD. It was not available yet but before the performance and during intermission it was played as a background teaser. Donna told me that it was being finalized and would be available soon. It is a must have!

"Ten Thousand Tears", need I say more? This is my most favorite song sung by the lads. This terrific love song stirs all sorts of emotion. The CTs and Donna sang it with such passion. Fantastic words and melody! Anyone who has seen Madama Butterfly can appreciate the haunting Humming Chorus even more. To top it all off,
this song was dedicated to Pat and her friend Brenda and to Gary and myself. What a thrill! James I love you even more for remembering this was a favorite. It was also very sweet to see you kiss Donna's hand during the song.

James gave a tribute to Pavarotti with the audience agreeing before instructions were given for audience participation with "Nessun Dorma". Of course there was always someone who aahed one too many times. There is such laughter when the Tenors reprimand the offender/s. The tenors are used to saying madam and in fact one of the offenders this time was an older gentleman sitting next to Craig.

Another side notethe tenors know how to keep an audience enthralled. They use the right mix of songs to touch on all of our emotions and keep us in the palm of their hands and on the edge of our seats. They can also make us laugh, melt or cry. The audience is always in focus with no desire to sway into a non-attentive state.
From the first keys struck on the piano and the first harmonic notes sung, one can feel the joy in the audience and the anticipation of more good things to follow.

The hilarious slapstick accompaniment to "Paddy McGinty's Goat" made Jane roar with laughter. I'm sure her stomach muscles must have hurt. The theatrics are fun and Daryl twirls a fine pirouette. James back stage "I want to go home" is the icing on the cake. If I may suggest, a little lower timbre of voice or a bit louder would
benefit those in the back of the house. We wouldn't want anyone to miss the offstage conversation. Again if a suggestion is not too presumptuous, the skit could be shortened by 1 minute and not lose any of its hilarity. (But then, I'm not an entertainer and know nothing of how things have to work). The skit gets uproarious
laughter and I wish you all could have heard Jane. At the meet and greet James called Jane The Laugher.

The tongue in cheek "Whiskey in a Jar" really appeals to the male audience, i.e. Craig. The songs momentum gathers the audience and doesn't' let go. From now on Craig will be known as Captain Farrell.

There wasn't anyone in the house who was not familiar with Air Supply and their "All Out of Love". For the CTs to take a tremendous hit and put their own stamp on it with an approving nod from the originators just reinforces how talented our young men are. The audience not only appreciated it but also sang along.

When the last song was announced there was a great sad sigh. No one could believe the concert was about to become because hadn't it just started? The beautiful "Time to Say Goodbye" with Donna brought forth an emotional longing, poignancy.

Of course there was a standing ovation, how could there not be? No matter who would hear "Ireland's Call", if they knew any Irish history at all, they would be drawn into that song and feel the pride. At a CT concert if you can relate to part of it, you can enjoy all of it. Just ask Craig.

My last side noteIrish traditional songs are so well written and with such simplicity that it is easy for the audience to follow along and almost anticipate the next word even upon hearing it for the first time. Irish songs soak into the consciousness, swell in the chest and spill out in lyric verse.

There was no table for the guys to be seated at the meet and greet for ease of autographing. There was a jockeying to find each tenor and chat individually. It was really nice because no one felt rushed to move along.

Trying to snap pictures and make sure Jane got to meet everyone, I totally forgot to give James and extra hug and kiss for kneeling and presenting me with a rose during the performance. I was sure that I was going to be passed up and was in total awe when chose for such a privilege. James, I owe you big time!

James, Matthew, Daryl, Donna and Dannythanks for putting your all into entertaining us and sharing a little part of your world.