By Susan Lillis
Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show at the Cadillac Palace Theater 151 W. Randolph, February 4-9 is an exhilarating experience for everyone and all ages. This production celebrates music through lyrical instrumentals, poetic story telling, joyful folk dancing and a journey to exotic lands. The video backdrop will entice you to want to book a trip to the magical Isle of Ireland immediately.
This Anniversary Show opens with a video retrospective honoring Michael Flately, an Irish American choreographer and dancer. He was raised in Chicago. Jean Butler, choreographer, Irish dancer, actress, and her dancing partner Colin Dunne among other luminaries who created and performed in the original Riverdance are also featured. Their choreography has not lost its original luster in this more intimate scaled down latest production.
One expects the stand-up tall, perfectly powerful precision world champion dancers to be awesome. They are. Jason O’Neill and Maggie Darlington, principal performances are stellar. They leap twist turn kick with athleticism and prowess while performing their rapid-fire hard shoe routines and graceful, elegant soft shoe. Most of these dancers have been training since they were 3 and 4 years old.
They, however, are not the only stars gracing the stage. The enchanting clear voiced soloist and celestial choruses were a mesmerizing. Fiery Flamenco Soloist, Rocio Montoya, with her evocative, sensuous twirls and stomps commands the stage. Lamont Brown and Tyler Knowlin, The Riverdance Tappers thrilled the audience with the high-energy soul tapping and humorous mimicry of the trinity of Irish steppers in a Brooklyn staged scene. The Riverdance Russian Folk Dance Troupe was wild with their dervishes and prisvadka, or what we know as the traditional Russian squat, knee-bending, kick dancing.
The Riverdance band is equally as gifted and talented as the dancers. Laura Williams on drums and percussion was thoroughly entertaining during a humorous audience engaging solo performance. Cathal Croke played a melancholic haunting melody on an unusual instrument called the Uillean pipes. Ceildih Briscoe is a fabulous fiddler from a classical violinist background. Emma Frampton on saxophone added a jazz edge to the traditional music. The finale had the audience on their feet with wild applause for this soul uplifting performance.
Addition information about Broadway in Chicago
Information about the Riverdance 25th Anniversary Tour