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2010-03-13 SOPAC

reviewed by Lynn

 

It was a dark and stormy night...no, really, it was!

 

As a fierce nor'easter battered the New York metro area, The Celtic Tenors appeared in concert at the Soutn Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) in South Orange, NJ.

 

After braving roads that were flodded, littered by fallen trees, closed by downed power lines, or all of the above, through high winds and driving rain, their audience found haven from the storm and enjoyed a wonderful show. It was highlighted by exceptional music and the warmly engaging personalities of Darryl, James, and Matthew.

 

Musical director Colm Henry began the evening with a piano solo of Remember Me/ Recuerdame before the Tenors took the stage and led us on a musical journey far removed from the continuing deluge outside.

 

The program included (and this is not in exact order)

You Raise Me Up

I'll Tell Me Ma

Hard Times

Finnegans Wake

The Holy City (one of my favorites)

Lay Down Sally--with James doing some sultry crooning to a lady in the audience!

The Mad Woman and Me

An Cailen Ruah--about a red headed girl who, after being courted extravagantly by a suitor, runs of with a butcher from Sligo!

Fionnangula

You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

Remember Me/Recuerdame

Dimming of the Day

Funiculi, Funicula

If I Fell In Love with You

The Irish Rover

Summer Sunshine (by Cat Stevens)

Brown Eyed Girl--Darryl did this as a solo, accompaning himself on the piano

Come What May--James' solo, accompanying himself on the piano, also

The Contender--a solo by Matthew

Whiskey in the Jar (another of my favorites)

Danny Boy--a capella and without amplification--absolutely beautiful!!

Time to Say Goodbye

 

Darryl, Matthew, and James have a unique rapport and interaction among themselves and with their audiences. Their explanations of some of the songs and their origins added to my enjoyment of them. Even the jokes, which Matthew assured everyone would continue to get worse, were funny.

 

What an evening it was!! No gimmicks, no special effects--simply heartfelt music shaped by the Celtic Tenors and Colm Henry at the piano.

 

My least favorite part of the show was that it had to end! Yet, even that was temperd by the opportunity wo meet them all in the lobby afterwards. They are as charming and affable as can be, greeting everyone as an old friend, never in a rush, willing to chat a bit and sign CDs and programs.

 

Last December I attended their concert at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ. My trip there involved the Garden State Parkway at rush hour in the dark. My trip to SOPAC was in the big storm. I can't imagine what adventure awaits me the next time I see the Celtic Tenors perform, but I hope they'll be coming back to this area very soon!!