Chicago’s own Michael Flatley makes a video appearance on a Chicago stage as Riverdance the 25th Anniversary Show pays homage to the early days of the worldwide phenomenon that launched him into stardom and fueled a renewed passion for Irish dance and all things Ireland.
Twenty-five years later, the passion and energy of Riverdance hasn’t waned. From the first notes of the low whistle, the Anniversary Show is packed with shiver-inducing moments that will call not only to new fans and those who have seen the show numerous times over the past 25 years.
At the Cadillac Palace Theater only through Sunday, this show stays true to the original show, but also refreshes the look from Flatley’s days thanks to the high-definition video screen backdrop that takes the audience to Ireland’s emerald shore.
As the story got moving, audience members clapped along to the dancers’ pounding feet. Lead dancers, Maggie Darlington and Jason O’Neill, were beautiful together, a mix of power and sweet.
Other crowd pleasers were the American Tappers and their dance duel with the Irish, the beautiful Flamenco dance and the wow-worthy flipping Russian Folk Dance troupe. The four standout musicians on sax, drums, uilleann pipes and fiddle, as well as the solo vocalist, kept the story moving along.
For the hordes of Irish dancers and their families locally, it’s a must-see. Their own feet will be moving in their seats seeing their passion alive on the stage.
While Irish dance insiders will recognize many of the incredible dancers from national and international championships, Chicago area older teen Irish dancers will especially cheer for a familiar face with the troupe, champion dancer Brandon Asazawa. Asazawa was always a star on stage, even from his beginner days learning the jig.
This is a family-friendly show for at least ages 5 and up. It runs two hours with a short intermission, and there are scenes with flashes and loud thunder that may frighten younger children.
If you go
Through Feb. 9
Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago
Tickets start at $32
Find more information at BroadwayInChicago.com.
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