Irish Christmas in Philadelphia

If you missed either “Once Upon a Winter’s Night” or “An Irish Christmas in America…” well, you shouldn’t have. But you’re lucky—we were there and have some videos to prove it.

“Once Upon a Winter’s Night’s” Gabriel Donohue, Caitlin Warbelow and Marian Makins have developed a lovely chemistry among their trio, both musically and as they interact with the audience. Their selection of songs for the Christmas holiday included the sublime ( “Christmas in the Trenches”) and humorous (“Miss Fogerty’s Christmas Cake), and their December 6 concert at The Irish Center set the mood for the season beautifully.

And then pair that with Teada’s “Irish Christmas in America” at The Annenberg Center 5 days later, and you have a feast of riches. Oisin MacDiarmada returned with Tristan Rosenstock on the bodhran and performing the role of master of ceremonies to great audience delight; Tommy Martin on the pipes and whistle, Grainne Hambly on the harp, with special guest Seamus Begley on the accordion and vocals. The extra special guest was guitarist Sean Earnest, who hails from Bethlehem and has made the transition to the big time.

Oh, and lest we forget, sean nos dancer Brian Cunningham with some wicked dance steps. Not for nothing that among the comments overheard at intermission were: “Oh, my…the ENERGY!!!” and “the funniest concert ever” (that was a nod to Seamus Begley who could entertain an audience with stories and limericks alone).

Watch Brian Cunningham’s dancing feet.

Two great evenings, two great reasons to be Irish in Philly at Christmas time!

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