Irish Christmas in America

December 13, 2017 @ 8:00 PM

 "Irish Christmas in America" celebrates the holidays in Ireland with a spirited performance of music, dance, and stories. Called "captivating for all ages" by Irish Music Magazine, the show brings an all-star cast from Ireland to The Grand Opera House in Wilmington on Wed. Dec 13 at 8PM.

The theater is located at 818 N. Market Street . Tickets are $26-31, available through the Box Office at 302.652.5577 or online at

"A standout performance...full of exceptional music and dance," says The Irish Echo.

"Irish Christmas in America" brings to stage the seasonal traditions of Ireland, where friends and family gather around the hearth or in pubs to share songs and stories. Now in it's 13th year, the show features lively Irish tunes, thrilling step dance, evocative carols in both English and Irish, and plenty of good Irish fun.

"Christmas is a massive holiday in Ireland!" says fiddle player and show producer Oisin Mac Diarmada. "People travel home to see families and share great food and lots of music. The country shuts down, apart from the bars!"

Niamh Farrell is a rising young singer with a crystal-clear voice who first gained attention touring with UK star David Gray. She grew up listening to Mac Diarmada in their mutual hometown of Sligo on Ireland's West Coast. Farrell brings contemporary songs to the show including Norah Jones' "December" and Tom Waits' "Take Me Home."

"Growing up, the idea of a 'party piece' was always a big thing in Irish homes," says Farrell. "People would gather around the fire or maybe the table at Christmas dinner, and everyone would be coaxed to sing a song or tell a story or do a dance. You had to make some sort of show of yourself!"

From County Kerry, Séamus Begley, named Ireland's "Traditional Singer of the Year," is legendary for his trove of traditional songs, as well as his exciting accordion playing and his famous wit.

"Seamus was like the Johnny Cash of my childhood!" says Farrell. "I absolutely adored his singing."

Champion step dancer Samantha Harvey lights up the stage with her footwork, and joins in on piano with Grainne Hambley on the harp and Seán Gavin on the uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes).

The show touches a chord with Americans, even those not of Irish descent, as many families can identify with being far from home.

"One of the most heartfelt themes of Irish Christmas is emigration,"  says Mac Diarmada, referencing the millions of Irish who came to America over the centuries. "Music was a way that people stayed close to home."



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