A bright, balanced blend of Irish music and dance drawing on seasonal inspirations, Irish Christmas in America arrives on stage at Sellersville Theater 1894 Tuesday, November 27. Fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, of the Irish traditional supergroup Téada, has been producing the show for 14 years, which never ceases to delight audiences from one end of the country to the other—regardless of whether their roots are Irish.
“We started in 2005, a few years into touring with Téada, he says. “We really enjoyed it, so we kept on doing it.”
March, of course, is perhaps the best time of year to acquaint people with Irish culture, but, he adds, Christmas is a great time, too.
Irish Christmas in America features some of the finest musicians and dancers you’re likely to find, including well-known singer, accordionist and story-teller Séamus Begley and harper Gráinne Hambly, who has performed frequently in the Philadelphia area over the years.
It can be challenging to find material suited to the holiday season, Mac Diarmada says—but after all these years, the group is well up to the challenge.
One tune you might hear, for example, is Tommy Coen’s Christmas Eve reel. But you’ll also hear Christmas-oriented songs and stories—many of them sung and told by Begley, along with Sligo singer Niamh Farrell.
You’ll also be wowed by step dancer Samantha Harvey and sean-nos dancer Brian Cunningham. (Harvey does double duty as pianist.) Rounding out the troupe is Sean Gavin on uilleann pipes and flute.
Get more information on the Sellersville show and tickets.
And listen to our podcast with Mac Diarmada.