BWW Review: CELTIC WOMAN: HOMECOMING LIVE FROM IRELAND Brings A Taste of Ireland to Jackson
When the lights went down at Thalia Mara Hall on May 3rd before the band began playing, the silence seemed to be electrified. Once the Jackson, MS performance by Celtic Woman's Homecoming tour got underway, however, it was apparent that no one in the audience wanted that silence to return. Closing out Thalia Mara's 2017/2018 season, the production ended the year's events with a performance well-deserving of the standing ovation received.
Celtic Woman is an all-female Irish musical ensemble composed of three principal singers and one fiddler. The production also features 4 male backup singers/dancers as well as an onstage band. Produced by Shane McDonnell and presented by executive director Dave Kavanagh, musical director Gavin Murphy, and vocal director the ensemble is on its 14th tour. With a lineup of both traditional Celtic tunes such as "Mo Ghile Mear" and more contemporary songs like "You Raise Me Up", the production's leading ladies showcase their incredible vocals in pieces with stunning solos as well as gorgeous harmonies.
The current principal singers on the tour are Mairéad Carlin, Éabha McMahon, and Susan McFadden, with Tara McNeill playing not only the violin, but the harp as well. Each woman contributes to the group a unique gift. Mairéad's sparkling voice lent itself to clear, effortless high notes, showcased beautifully by "Time to Say Goodbye". Éabha brings a rich, traditional feeling to the music, making "Wild Mountainside" an especially stunning piece. Susan's powerful delivery of "From A Distance" was absolutely breathtaking. Tara's facial expressions and ability to gracefully dance across the stage while skillfully playing the violin were captivating, though her playing the lovely "For The Love Of A Princess" was one of the biggest highlights of the evening. Separately, the women are impressive musicians, but as the message in the song "Walk Beside Me" states, they were not born to follow, they were all born to lead, and that is something they did so well.
The Homecoming tour is an awe-inspiring experience, with familiar songs as well as some that you may not even understand, but you really won't mind that in the slightest. "Must-see" doesn't begin to cover it. The tour is headed to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 8th and then San Antonio, Texas on May 9th before continuing to a number of other Texas cities and locations further west. A link to the tour's official itinerary and ticket information can be found below.