Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Sunday, December 07, 2014

An Irish Christmas December 5, 2014

         Sure It Tis, An Irish Christmas Comes to Cerritos

                                      By Glen Creason

     Any concert describing itself as an Irish Christmas must allow plenty of leeway for the American imagination. Such a show might range from the Pogues singing “Fairytale of Old New York” to a swinging version of “Buala Bas” (Jingle Bells) with uilleann pipes accompaniment.  However, the Irish Christmas that visited the Performing Arts Center over the weekend was full of homespun Irish yuletide joy with a bit of Kerry for spice and filled with plenty of surprises and authentic folk material that made it indeed 100% delightful. It was not like an old “Firestone Your Favorite Christmas Album” full of the old chestnuts of the season but a heady mix of excellent Irish dance, sprightly jigs and reels played by the Kerry men and women of the band plus the sweet-as-a morning lark singing of an interesting variety of a few old favorites and more true Irish folk delicacies. To balance the wildly exuberant and thrilling dancing alongside the spirited, three part harmonies the show was held together by a wise narrator, Sheelagh Cullen whose memories of an Irish Christmas and selected prose and poety gave the whole an air of authenticity. 

     Sure,  there was plenty of music, sung in pristine harmony by  Koral Aakre, Caitlin Ary and Tamora Pellikka who were seamless throughout in versions of the familiar “Carol of the Bells,” “The Holly She Bears a Berry,” “the Wexford Carol,” “Silent Night,” and a jocular “the Twelve Days of Christmas.” These were mixed in with true Irish gems “Ding Dong Dedero,” “Children’s Song,” “Si Do Mhaimeo,” Cead Mile Failte Romhat a Losa” and the wonderful “Wren Song”  (featuring,  appropriately to Los Angeles, one of the adorable Rodriguez dancing girls) that was a delightful morsel for the finish after this big banquet of fun.  Certainly, a great part of this joyful celebration of the season was the marvelous Irish dancing by a dozen beautiful young lasses and three handsome lads.  The stamina and skill was remarkable but the obvious joy in the numbers when the dancers challenged each other to reach greater heights elevated the show above mere holiday entertainment. Certainly, part of the appeal of the evening was the fun the entire cast seemed to be having, quite like an actual family Christmas celebration.  This is a terrific show with the exhilarating dancing and music of a Riverdance without the entire slick Vegas dazzle that has attached itself to that once grand show.  For the first holiday show at the Center for the yuletide this Irish Christmas was a fine one. 


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