There was a good deal of excited build up to this touring event....the chance to see this incredible show we all see on PBS...live, right here in Detroit. Well, having been there I would say I was a minority; in that the show just did not do it for me...it did not MOVE me.
When I see these folks on TV it is a sublime experience. The touring company (and I suspect it is a matter of economics) is a stripped-down version of what you see on TV...4 principals, the perky fiddler, the creator-artistic director on piano, a VERY fine trio of core musicians on Guitar, Bass and Uillean pipes, 2 percussionists and 6 backup (3 male, 3 female) singers provide the music for the night. I guess I was foolish to think they would tour with an orchestra, but thought they might use a local one.
One of the highlights of the night was the resoundingly beautiful version of, "Danny Boy". The choice to end it on a beautifully-quiet, 4-part acapella verse was magic. Simply beautiful. Beinig a sucker for Enya, it was great to hear, "Orinoco Flow",...always liked it always will. I miss the wonderful principal who played harp...she sang beautifully and played harp well, as well. It would have added a layer to the show...as the show seems to need to give each singer their own "solo" and their own, "ensemble" number. They DO sing beautifully. Choice of songs? Some were....insipid...I mean, c'mon, they were dripping with sentiment and at one point my wife said, "Are they really going to sing Toby Keith"? Sometimes it seemed like we were at a fundamentalist service, where the next verse is raised up a half step in pitch to add pseudo-drama.
Because part of the Celtic Woman shows' charm is it's "earnestness"... it matters that much more to have a decent song with which to be earnest. Am I glad I went? Yes, I really wanted to see these fine singers and the man who created this entertainment magnet. I just wish it was, better.