There was supposed to be an aerialist, a woman who would dazzle us suspended by silk or hanging from a hoop. She’s there in the YouTube videos and on the website.
But, alas, the version of Women of Ireland Sunday night at the Arcada in St. Charles apparently was a stripped down one.
The audience did include a woman with a dog in her purse and a guy in a black kilt hanging way too low on his ass – like one of those dumbass teens in jeans – and black t-shirt, with a tartan sash that seemed to be made from a plaid, plastic garbage bag. Oh, one idiot was trying to take pictures during the show with an iPad. Pure, rule-breaking genius.
There was a lot of fog, too. These types of shows always have a lot of fog, but this was San Francisco-level, or as if Shay Clarke from McNally’s down the block was standing backstage having a smoke with the crew.
There were very many costume changes, with the three O’Neill sisters wearing gowns worthy of the Academy Awards. At the same time, their dresses made me nostalgic for prom. But not for a wedding reception, which are only good for the free booze and making fun of white people trying to dance.
And my buddy Tom said one of the red, spangly outfits reminded him of the banana seat on the bike he had as a kid. Hmmm.
Turns out the sisters wrote a song used at the 2009 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. And their mom is from Los Angeles who was somehow convinced by a Kerry man to move to Ireland.
And it was Oscar night! OMG!
Anyway, shows like these (the PBS-style Irish ones) have usual suspect songs, and the ladies didn’t disappoint, including a version of Danny Boy sung with just an acoustic guitar accompaniment, the requisite cover of You Lift Me Up, the Josh Groban power anthem your grandmother probably loves, and a patriotic ending, that being God Bless America.
The most unusual song choice: One Tin Soldier, AKA that song from Billy Jack, a 1971 movie about a vigilante hero who kicks some serious ass while protecting hippies from the squares. Yeah, go ahead and hate your neighbor, buddy. Go ahead and cheat a friend!
Of course, there was plenty of Irish dancing, from three women. What confused me was there was one guy dancer, and the show is called Women of Ireland. All the band members were dudes, too, but for the violin player.
But for her, the band guys pretty much wore the same outfits the whole show. That’s a shame because it might be nice for the accordion or uilleann pipes players to wear sequins every once and awhile.
The dancer guy did a bit with the bodhran player, a step-dance versus drum solo, which reminded me that the Arcada will be featuring 70s band Foghat on April 19. Kevin Costner is playing there April 21, with his band Modern West, which brings us back to the Oscars. OMG!
OMG! I missed Hollywood’s biggest night.
Thank you Women of Ireland for offering a better option than watching celebrities fawn over each other – and for starting off St. Patrick’s month on a pleasant note.