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Author Topic: Starman's Louisville Review: 4/10/12: Louisville Palace Theatre  (Read 1599 times)
Starman
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« on: April 11, 2012, 08:09PM »

   Celtic Woman fans were treated to another sell-out performance at the Louisville Palace last night, April 10, 2012.  According to Michelle Ripley, Membership Director at Kentucky Educational (KET) television, the show marked their fifteenth (15th) live performance in Louisville.  I have been privileged to have present for twelve of these. This show marks my 37th Celtic Woman show, overall.  

   The steep price for tickets with meet & greet charged in Kentucky is among the highest in the nation and consequently has prevented it from being a source of large forum gatherings.  Nevertheless, we had a respectable forum gathering at Cunningham’s, a restaurant across the street from the venue.  Paul (Anderpaw), has suggested we get there early and fortunately, we heed his advice, as we see many people still waiting to be served after the venue doors open.  Present  with Paul is his daughter Heather, attending her first CW show (time to see first-hand what this is that dad has been nuts about these last few years  Cheesy),  Daniel (DCobble) up from Knoxville, Barbara and her husband James from Edmonton and Mike (Michael) Taylor and his mother from across the river in Indiana.

   Michael, using some form of cellphone magic, is able to take a panoramic shot of the whole forum table (see below).  A very handy fellow to have around!  He has shared the front row with me for a couple of shows!  Tonight, however, we are not seated together, but scattered all over!  No opportunity for a united front in leading standing ovations, nor to display any of crack-sign maker Tom Troxil’s signs.  However, Daniel has managed to get front row dead center—actually seated touching the stairs leading up to the stage!  I am seated on the end of the front row, in front of Shane on the piano.  A seat, as it turns out, I am very glad to have had!   Cool

   Coming into the theatre,  Dan and I are reminded how much the Palace theatre resembles the Fox in Atlanta.  We had both attended the filming there in September and the first performance of the Believe tour show in February.  Surely, at the basis of both these theatres is the same designer.   I ran into KET’s Michelle on the way in.  I told her I had heard her mention me during one of the telethon broadcasts as being a KET member in attendance at the Believe filming. “Oh, your heard that!” she says laughing.

   As we have seen during this Believe tour, the physical space around the stage determines how certain numbers are performed—whether there is room for the spin of the girls in Teir Abhaile Riu (on this night there isn’t); whether there is room for Lisa and Chloe to enter from the floor in the same song (most fortunately for me personally tonight, there is!); whether the is room for bagpiper Anthony Byrne to come down the aisle and up the center stairs in Amazing Grace—maybe.  If so, it will be close because the orchestra pit at the Palace has no center entrance, though there are stairs leading up to the stage in the center.  To allow Anthony to do so would require him to maneuver between the second and third rows in the pit.  A tight squeeze, but possibly.

   Before the show started,  I told the people sitting at the “choke point” that Anthony may need to come through there and also possibly Ray Fean during his solo number.  However, one man had his walker positioned at the crucial juncture and so when the time came, neither performer elected to come through there in order to come up the center stairs.  I can imagine the crash and commotion if Anthony got entangled with a walker during the number, making “Amazing Grace” not quite so amazingly performed in that event.  Tongue

   The crowd followed what has become the new convention this tour, applauding at the appearance of Mairead and Chloe in Awakening. These audiences are no strangers to Celtic Woman and the performers in the cast are no longer some nameless ensemble, as it seemed took some time to occur—I recall the tale of a woman encountering former vocalist Méav Ní Mhaolchatha and asking her where her fiddle was.  A good many of them still seem to think Mairead is a teenager, however.  From her ever-youthful appearance, that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.  She must get “carded” everywhere she goes.  Cheesy

   Cast and crew are hitting on all cylinders tonight.  No problems are noted with sound or lighting. Perhaps the familiarity of the venue and experience as the tour has progressed has resulted in any of those such problems being solved.

   I had tweeted the soloists that I would be on the front row—but not where!  Lisa spotted me first.  It’s always fun to see each of them as they successively spot you and I’m always amazed at how quickly they do it—usually during the first song. They are all breathtakingly beautiful, so it’s like being recognized by angels.

   Chloe begins her enchantment of the audience, which begins with recounting the many past performances here and then pointing out experiences unique to the city/venue.  She mentions Kentucky Bourbon.  I am at Mairead’s feet as she says this and I look up and am tempted to make the aside to her “She’s too young”, but as I think about it—she isn’t anymore!  Our Chloe has grown up!  Still no less of a crowd-pleaser though!

   The crowd in Louisville this night is as it has frequently been: polite and attentive, yet somewhat reserved—at least during the first half. While this is all well and good, it doesn’t serve to energize the performers the way I have seen it done in places such as Nashville.  The audience can have a palpable effect on the performers. In my view, if the audiences want an energetic show from the performers, though ought to be willing to give a little something back.

   A related issue is the extent to which a limited forum fan presence ought to engage in standing ovations.  The problem I have in trying to refrain from too many ovations, is that Musical Director David Downes has arranged and composed these numbers in such a way as they each could qualify as the climax of any ordinary show. Should we refrain from ovations simply because of the decision to put so many excellent numbers in the show?  Not in my opinion. Should we refrain because the audience as a whole doesn’t want to stand up so often?  Not in my opinion—let them sit if they feel like it.  But the impression I get is that there are many wishing to stand more frequently, but are perhaps inhibited by the lack of support from others in the audience.  Let not the lack of support to them come from us, the loyal fans of these artists.

   Chloe tells the audience how the songs of Believe are growing on them as performers.  So too have they grown on me and no doubt many other fans: Awakening, Nocturne, The Foxhunter, Sailing, A Woman’s Heart, Follow On.  But the surprise runaway hit, in my opinion, is Teir Abhaile Riu.   It would my thrill of the show on this night.

   Learning that my seat was at the end of the front row had but one possible consolation that night: maybe in that initial humorous exchange from the wings on the floor with Chloe, it might be my lap that Lisa lit upon, as she had done in about that spot in some earlier shows.  Fortunately, for just such an eventuality, I had brought mine with me.  Cheesy  Still, there wasn’t a great deal of room on the front row and there was many a lap in between.  She paused at an usher—shoot!

 I turned to watch Chloe’s “la tan de da” and as I turned back for Lisa’s equally articulate response, YES!  Lisa jumped in my lap!  She remained totally in character as she looked in my eyes singing.  I tried to give an incredulous “What?  Not go to Galway?”-type look as she sang.  I would have preferred that they debate it longer, but all too soon, Lisa was back up and in the fray!  It was my shining moment though! I felt like the poor man who had gotten the girl at The Ceili!  Cheesy

A rousing rendition of Mo Ghile Mear ends the first act.  Mairead Maguire, Dermot, Colm, Andrea, Kate and Craig Ashurst were in great form tonight.  Just above me, Dermot gives me a “thumbs up” sign shielded by his other hand.  It is time to intermiss.

Talking to my neighbors sitting next to me, I learn one is an attorney from Lexington, as am I.  I didn’t know her, but upon talking learn we know many of the same people and that she has recently attended the Charlestown, SC Believe show. She had been in attendance at other Louisville Palace and Rupp Arena shows, as had her friend.

Act II begins with Amazing Grace:  Will there be enough room for Anthony to make his way between rows B & C and up the centre stairs?   I pulled my own chair up to give him some more room, but the problem is the man’s walker on row C.  Anthony wisely doesn’t try it and instead goes up the side steps.  He still makes it in time to come down the central steps beside fellow piper Tommy Martin.  A wonderful performance, obviously loved by the audience.

Green Grow the Rushes is next.  The audience loves Chloe’s good-natured determination to teach us the lyrics and make us sing. Not Green Grow the Russians, stupid!  Tongue  There aren’t enough of us together to try the “rushes wave” and I don’t have Tom Troxil there to make me do it anyway.  I do sing loud, as by now I’ve had lots of practice with this one!

A Spaceman Came Travelling is next!  Always a favorite for me! Lisa is fantastic in it!  It’s easy to see why she has become such a hearthrob! I can’t imagine anyone doing this song as attractively.  The musical arrangement and choreography with the choir are great!  

With the next portion of the show we get to see delightful Susan McFadden both sing and speak to us in The Water is Wide and her introduction to a Tribute to Broadway. The audience applauds as she starts I Dreamed a Dream—perhaps with some emotional recollections of the song sung by a Scottish Susan. Anthony does another creditable drum performance during Circle of Life, which is a really rousing number.

Chloe’s Ave Marie continues to totally blow audiences away, as it did our Dan Cobble who was literally at her feet during it’s performance.  The choir adds immeasurably to the sound and visual effect of this one.  They do justice to the lofty sentiments expressed in the song, which is quite a statement.

You Never Walk Alone—with the Anontas Choir instead of the children on the Believe DVD.  I did notice this time that it is the choirs vocals on this and does not include the childrens’ singing as background.  

Mairead’s introduction to Women of Ireland is very well-received and I perceive the audience is gratified to hear Mairead speak. She does a great job and more adequate amplification of her voice is being provided these days. The marvel of having Craig Ashurst step out of the choir to dance must be striking to many, as it was to me—not expecting a choir member to possess this much dancing skill. The marvel for me is seeing these two perform such incredible movements so seemingly effortlessly. Together, they are a sight to behold!

The show ends with The Parting Glass, which has grown up me considerably and I now can comprehend it in a less martial context that I had thought of it previously, giving it a less tear-jerking and more benign farewell connotation.  The audience, however, will not leave with just a “good night and peace be with you all”.  The Mo Ghile Mear Reprise is as rousing an encore as anyone could ask for—this year with the insertion of the dancing solo from Craig which adds a new and much entertaining dimension to it. Not only will they leave singing, but dancing.  The Louisville audience loves this group and most will return every time the group does.

One slight mishap—during the encore Lisa reached and grabbed both of my arms-in swinging back and forth we knocked over a stage light which crashed to the floor at my feet!  I picked it up as she exited. Fortunately, it wasn’t damaged and I sat it back in place. The security man nearby had seen it happen, but just laughed.  Cheesy

As the crowd cleared out, James led us to the second floor where the M&G was to take place.  Daniel and I are as prepared as anybody can be with items to sign and cameras.  The difficulty is in trying to get the items for signature arranged, some camera shots under the table constraints and in my case, distribution of the small gifts I had gotten the soloists.  We learn that our soloists at the M&G will be…..drum roll…even James himself doesn’t know (he says)…Mairead and Lisa!  Fantastic!  Quickly, for us it is which items do we need to get signed by them?  Invariably, there are items which have been signed by one but not the other.  How exactly does this count toward your 3 item limit?  I am fortunate to go to enough shows that it doesn’t tremendously matter for me, but still the logistics is daunting to the multi-tasking challenged. Gift bags to Mairead and Lisa are given to them at the table.  Those to Chloe and Susan are given to Bubba to give to them.  I neglected to tell the KET rep I asked to help me get a picture to raise the flash.  Consequently, they are taken without flash in the dimly-lit room.  Where is Mike Brown with a camera when you need him!  Same place I have been when he needed me with one.  Cheesy

It was the first time I had ever had Mairead for three consecutive M&Gs (not to complain about such good fortune).  In Akron, I had gift bags for two vocalists, but nothing for her, as having had her at the Cincinnati M&G, I assumed she wouldn’t be there. Wrong.  I was ready to redeem myself this time with a gift of rosin for her.  I hope it is a kind that she uses.  I had a marvelous time talking with she and Lisa!  I told Mairead it was sadly my last show for this tour.  I asked about something Rick had wanted signed. I thanked Lisa for making my night during TAR!  She asked about my sister, whom she had met at the Knoxville show.  She conveyed greetings to her fan forum members and I to her from as many of them as whose names I could quickly rattle off.  

Coming through the line, I tried to get pictures for Daniel, who was behind me and of Michelle Ripley with Lisa and Mairead.  As they left the room, Lisa bade me goodbye. She had certainly given me a night I will never forget!

Daniel and I took pictures of and for each other of the Palace Marquee as we left.  When I got home I saw that Mike Taylor had FB’ed his photo of our pre-show forum gathering.  I hope to hear from Paul how his daughter Heather liked her first CW show.  It was a wonderful experience for us all and as great a concluding tour show as I have ever experienced!


Our forum  pre-show gathering at Cunningham’s


   Máiréad and Lisa at the M&G


Lisa and I at M&G

Daniel with Máiréad and Lisa

   
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 08:14AM by Starman » Logged

Thomas
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 08:20PM »

Great review John, sorry I could not be there to join in all of the fun!!!!!
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 05:02AM »

Great review John, sorry I could not be there to join in all of the fun!!!!!

  Thanks Tom!  I'll bet I'd have done the "Rushes" wave if you'd been there!  Tongue Cheesy
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barb kantartzis
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2012, 07:56AM »

aww! Good review and I def. love the pics!
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I I I I hear your voice on the wind, and I I I I hear you call out my name, listen my child you say to me I am the voice of your history be not afraid come follow me answer my call and i'll set you frrreeeee!!!!!!!
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2012, 05:18PM »

  Thanks Barb!  The pictures would have been much better if the flash had been turned on!  Embarrassed
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Dinozzzo
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2012, 01:19AM »

Wonderful review Cheesy
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03/06/2010 : Wallingford, CT, United States
06/28/2011 : Hamburg, Deutschland
09/23/2011 : Paris, France
05/17/2012 : Dusseldorf, Deutschland
10/23/2013 : Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Starman
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 05:06PM »

Wonderful review Cheesy

   Merci!   Smiley
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