Interview: Louise Barry of CELTIC ANGELS CHRISTMAS at Van Wezel

By: Dec. 10, 2023
Interview: Louise Barry of CELTIC ANGELS CHRISTMAS at Van Wezel

I just had the great honor of interviewing Louise Barry, the Writer, Director and Choreographer of the Celtic Angels. They will be at The Van Wezel in Sarasota on December 21st , bringing forth traditional and contemporary Irish and Holiday favorites. If the show is half as fun as our conversation, I can guarantee you will have some good laughs and be ready to spread some Irish Holiday Cheer! Louise is in the middle of her tour, which is all over this nation and was en route to her next destination, Chicago, when we caught up.

There is a passionate draw to the Irish culture and an abundance of joyousness that comes from this small island. I asked Louise if she thought this was just an American phenomenon or if she sees this in her world travels. “First of all, the Irish have spread out all over the world! We are very social people, which has led to lots of interactions (wink wink) and huge families”. Louise shared with me a very interesting statistic: there are about 80 million people that can trace their ancestry back to Ireland! As people explore their heritage using services such as and 23andme, Louise guesses that this number will rise even higher! “People are looking for a way to relate to one another”.

I was very interested to find out some of Louise’s Christmas traditions that she grew up with in Dublin. Due to her touring schedule and busy life, “we start setting up our tree in November, which anyone in Ireland would be falling out if they heard me say. In Ireland Christmas Trees are not the elaborate affairs they are here state side. Back in Ireland a Christmas tree is like a stick and has a short shelf life”. Trees usually go up on December 20th and come down about January 6th, an Irish holiday called Little Woman’s Christmas.

Festivities on Christmas are focused on family and of course, food! Rushing off tour, Louise has to get home and get right to baking her traditional holiday fare: Sausage rolls made with homemade puff pastry, “Hammy Things” (very specific sharp cheddar cheese, Coleman’s mustard and ham), and Banoffee Pie, which is a Banana Toffee requiring a lot of concentration “because as soon as you turn around the milk is burnt!” She will be joyfully celebrating this year in the U.S. with her entire family as her parents are coming from Ireland to celebrate! “All I wanted for Christmas was for my family to be together, so I couldn’t ask for anything more”.

Celtic Angels Christmas marries the old and new worlds with traditional and contemporary Irish and Holiday tunes. We look forward to welcoming her to a warm Sarasota celebration of Holiday Cheer!