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Celtic Woman conforms to stale formula

 
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Don
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:33 pm    Post subject: Celtic Woman conforms to stale formula Reply with quote

When it first came around a couple of years ago, the group called Celtic Woman seemed something of a sweet breeze on the pop scene, presenting a celebration of Irish folk and popular song traditions given voice by four women, a sprightly fiddler and a small backing band.

But the franchise has grown and grown to the point where a show that played Minneapolis' Orpheum Theatre on its previous local stops graduated to the grand hockey hall of St. Paul, the Xcel Energy Center, on Friday night. And it attracted a crowd worthy of the venue, an enthusiastic boomer-and-up bunch that numbered over 6,000.

So, has the transition to the arena been successful for this musical mission of diplomacy from the Emerald Isle? Well, in some ways, it seems that this was the dream all along, ever since this show was a glimmer in the eye of "Riverdance" expatriate David Downes. It's always been a theatrical affair, but judging from Friday night's show, the desire to create stimulating theater has trumped the virtues that the show first brought to town a few years ago. It's become something of a rote offering, devoid of spontaneity or any sense of musical risk or adventure. Celtic Woman is now Galway gone Vegas, less Chieftains and more Celine Dion with each visit.

And that's too bad. Because there are some talented women in Celtic Woman. Lisa Kelly and newcomer Lynn Hilary both handled their quiet ballads with tenderness, most memorably when expectant mother Kelly poured her heart into

"The Blessing" as if it were a lullaby and when Hilary offered a sweet but slightly haunting "Scarborough Fair," augmented by Orla Fallon's harp.

But, too often, what the four women at the fore had to offer was buried beneath a sea of what seemed like pre-recorded vocal tracks and an orchestra of invisible instruments. The athletic act of galloping fiddler Mairead Nesbitt added some adrenaline to the show, but that seemed a note-for-note and step-for-step re-creation of the antics of her last two local visits.

While there was much to recommend in Friday night's show for entertainment value, Celtic Woman needs to freshen up its act. And the powers that be behind it might be well-served by shaping their show around the talents of these women, rather than having them conform to a formula that's growing stale.


Pioneer Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX
November 18, 2007; Posted: 03:02 AM
Rob Hubbard is an associate producer for American Public Media's "Performance Today."
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Scott
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too think that Celtic woman may need to change some things in order to bring around new faces to the concerts and start promoting them in a way that these wonderful ladies deserve. With all the talent these ladies have, I think a change may be great. That is my opinion.

Scott
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celtic_girlakp
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about change. It would be good to see something different though. Not sure what yet but something out of the ordinary like with "Let It Snow". They could really do some more Big Band type material. Especially Lisa. She could really do that.
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Tom Kelly
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys My thoughts regarding the topic are along the same lines as already posted. If I am not mistaken, for the three shows in Charlotte, the first two nights sold out and the third was shy a full house. I haven't heard re the attendance of each venue on this tour but my concern is that there are only a very few hardcore fans of Celtic Woman that are able to travel from Venue to Venue. Even if the hardcore fans live within driving distance of a venue, you must still factor in work schedules, family obligations and all the stuff you have that is more important than going to a Concert/Show.

CW LTD must change the show, personally I have never been to a Celtic Woman Show, however I did spend 36 years engineering the moves of Shows from Venue to Venue.

So lets just hope that CW LTD keeps the shows fresh to keep the fan base coming to the Shows.

Tom Kelly
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Scott
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent point Tom! Thanks for sharing. Me personally. I think that the ladies could showcase there own songs from past, present, and maybe even future work.

Scott
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zojenk
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that Celtic Woman needs refreshed but I believe that will happen next year, possibly in the fall. I have seen them three times and each time they seem to get better but it would be nice to hear some new songs and maybe have the ladies speak to the audience between songs. Interaction with the audience would make it more personal and I believe everyone would enjoy that.

Zo
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celtic_girlakp
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I would love to hear them talk as well. I never understood why they didn't introduce themselves on stage. People come to the show and don't know who they are unless they buy the program and if they introduced themselves it would be wonderful. It would be great to see them mix up the songs and change the order and add in old favorites and then surprise everyone with a new one. They do know what they are doing cause well they are still selling places out. So I would not complain to much.
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zojenk
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not complaining really. I would go see CW over and over and over again because I love them so much. Laughing
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celtic_girlakp
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how anyone could not want to go see them with or without any change to the show.
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