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Welcome to the Cafe Buzz! We started the "Buzz" section here at the Celtic Café as a means of sharing some of the news and information posted to our associated mail lists, which are devoted mostly (but not exclusively) to Irish dance and Celtic music. For more detailed information, and to join in the discussion about "anything Celtic," please sign up for our main list, large and very international: Celtic Cafe Yahoo Group

Got any "newsy tidbits"? E-mail us via the Contact Form.

Moya Brennan: Green to Gold

Moya Brennan, one of the Celtic Cafe's all-time favorite Irish singers, has provided lead vocals on 'Green to Gold' -- the official song of the 2008 Irish Olympic team.

Opening with a reflective but determined variation of the athlete's Olympic oath, performed to the traditional air of 'She Moves through the Fair', the song breaks into a hard rock track that endeavours to capture the energy of the world's biggest sporting event from an athlete's perspective.

”The crowd is calling, challenge has begun
History falling, on shoulders of the young
The field of combat, holding out the prize
In sight of glory, captured through the eyes…
Of the heroes, watching as their destinies unfold
To bring the Green to Gold”

Available at records shops and via download (in Ireland) from the 1st of August, all profits from 'Green to Gold' will be used to support the development of Irish youth sports. Learn more by clicking on the image to read the press release.

Garry Hynes Interview

Have you heard of Garry Hynes? Anyone who loves Irish Theatre should know her name well! Director and co-founder of Druid Theatre, she brought DruidSynge, a cycle of six Synge's plays, produced by Druid, at Lincoln Center Theatre in summer 2006, and recently directed Juno (her first musical!) for Encores! (see the review on CelticCafe).

Missed them? She'll be back! Check here for more details on her direction of Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan at Atlantic Theatre Company in December, and a Druid Theatre tour of The Playboy of the Western World and Shadow of the Glen in the autumn.

Here's Ms. Hynes on what she loves about directing, Irish playwriting, and the American-Irish audience.

 

Juno Review

Good News: Juno is the Great Irish Musical we've all been waiting for!
Bad News: The wait continues!
Ever since Riverdance, Celtic enthusiasts have been waiting for the Great Irish Musical. After the massive disappointment of The Pirate Queen a year ago the wait has worn long.

The Encores! City Center production of Juno, a revival of the musical based on Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock, was awe-inspiring, heart-breaking, funny, tuneful, exciting and unforgettable. But productions in the Encores! Series have just five performances over one weekend. Use this review to light a fire under any producers you know. Bring Juno to Broadway—soon!

 

 

Conor McPherson's Port Authority

Conor McPherson's Port Authority recently made its New York debut at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Three men talk about their lives, and loves—in a psychic limbo of their own making. John Gallagher, Jr. (Spring Awakening) plays the young man, Brian D'Arcy James the middle-ager, and Jim Norton (who recently won the Tony for his stunning performance in McPherson's The Seafarer on Broadway) the senior. CelticCafe looks at the peculiarly Irish flavor of yearning in McPherson's lyric drama.

Irish Dance Workshops in France

It can't get much better than this... an opportunity to learn Irish dance from some of the very best Irish dancers in the world, and in southern France, at that!

Joanne Doyle, Breandan de Gallai, Dearhbla Lennon and Ronan McCormack from Riverdance will be teaching a week-long workshop from July 7th to 13th, and Joanne and Ronan will be teaching a specialized grades preparation workshop before that in May, which is organized with the An Coimisiun.

Get all the details at the official website.


Juno

Fans of Irish theatre: don't miss Juno! Not the Academy-Award winning film, but the 1959 musical based on Sean O'Casey's 1924 classic Juno and the Paycock. Encores!, the acclaimed program celebrating rarely-heard "concert versions" of American composers and lyricists is presenting Juno with music by Marc Blitzstein (The Cradle Will Rock) and book by Joseph Stein (Fiddler on the Roof). The 1959 adaptation of O'Casey's masterpiece about a hardworking Irish family caught up in the confrontation between the Irish Republican Army and the British in 1920s Dublin had only 16 performances for its Broadway run.

Encores! series present just 5 "concert performances," at New York City Center, but the series has such a great rep (and history of Broadway transfers) that tickets sell fast and the press cover each show. Originally directed by Jose Ferrer and starring Shirley Booth and Melvyn Douglas, the production may have lacked that touch o' the Irish. The Encores! director is steeped in Irish theatre and idiom:Garry Hynes, founder of Ireland's Druid theatre Company, which brought its sold out production "Druid-Synge" to Lincoln Center last year, the first woman ever to win a Tony Award for Directing (for Martin McDonagh's Beauty Queen of Leenane in 1998. The A-list company includes Tony-Award winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) as Juno Boyle and Dermot Crowley, who appeared in Conor McPherson's The Weir and Brian Friel's Translations on Broadway, as Joxer Boyle.

 

CelticCafe will post our review after the weekend but don't wait for that to recommend the show. Get your tickets now—if any are left!

Here's a link to a preview at Broadwayworld.com

 

Pumpgirl and Seafarer

PumpgirlIt's a good season for Irish theatre in New York City: Gwen Orel reviews two superb Irish plays.

Both plays concern redemption -- Conor McPherson's Seafarer presents some sympathy for the devil, and a strong hope of salvation. In its own way, Abbie Spallen's Pumpgirl does the same, although the possibility of salvation is rockier and costlier and not available to everyone. Neither should be missed.

Méav in U.S. for Dec. Concerts

Exciting news! The amazingly gorgeous and superbly talented Méav Ní Mhaolchatha will be back in the U.S. for some very special solo concerts on the East Coast in December. From her website: "Méav is best known as the tall blonde in Celtic Woman 'who adds delicious wriggles to her soprano renditions of traditional tunes' (New York Times). She is equally at home singing classic Irish airs and lilting cheeky fast songs.

Méav has left Celtic Woman to focus on her solo career. Now, with a multi-talented band of three Irish musicians, Méav is sharing her blend of classic songs, seasonal favorites and the stories behind the melodies in a performance that promises to be magical. She is thrilled to be performing these intimate solo concerts across the East coast of the United States this December just as Celtic Woman’s new Christmas PBS special is being aired. Her band combines Irish drumming, wooden flute, violin, guitar, keyboard and haunting vocal harmonies to create a warm and traditional Irish musical atmosphere. This is a rare opportunity to hear Méav’s stunning live renditions of Silent Night and the timeless Danny Boy. The tour starts on December 12th in the prestigious Nokia Theatre on Times Square in the heart of New York. Méav is currently based in Ireland so catch her here while you can."

Click on the image above for a stunningly lovely photo of the woman behind the ethereal voice.

Meav's official fan club is sponsoring a lottery contest for round-trip airfare and a concert ticket to a fan, so hurry on over to celticmeav.com and check that out. YOU could be the lucky winner!

Meav's website: Meav.com

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