Arts and Entertainment

BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR “Once” first sparked to life as a tiny, 2007 independent Irish film about the power of music to draw people together. The two main characters are simply called Guy and Girl. Guy is a struggling Dublin street musician... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR Dublin native Tom Courtney regards his debut CD as a tribute album of sorts: an expression of gratitude to songwriters and singers who have inspired him the most since he started performing seriously more than two decades... Read more
Lucy: Carolynne Warren misses Dorchester’s sense of neighborhood. Christmas is coming a little early for Dorchester native Carolynne Warren, who has built a successful career as an actress and entrepreneur in Los Angeles. The actress will find herself... Read more
It’s another landmark year for the Boston-based all-star fiddle ensemble Childsplay, which heads out on its annual tour this month on the heels of a new CD, “As the Crow Flies,” and concert DVD, “Fiddlers, Fiddles and Fiddlemaker.” The group comprises two... Read more
Boston-area musicians Maeve Gilchrist and Mariel Vandersteel will be among the featured performers as “A Christmas Celtic Sojourn” begins its second decade of flavoring the Christmas holiday season with music, song, dance, and storytelling from Irish,... Read more
Irish literature fans know “The Fiddler of Dooney” as one of W. B. Yeats’s most famous works, with its memorable opening lines: “When I play on my fiddle in Dooney/folk dance like a wave of the sea.” But the poem also is the namesake of a venerable Irish... Read more
This January, BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest) will begin its second decade of celebrating the Boston area’s abundance of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic-related music and dance traditions. The 11th annual BCMFest, which takes place on... Read more
At one point between songs during her recent performance at The Burren, Róisín O’Reilly – more familiarly known as Róisín O – tuned her guitar, adjusted the capo, and gave the audience a sly smile. “I assume,” she deadpanned, “that most of you know who my... Read more
“The Importance of Being Earnest” stands as one of the world’s most enduring plays. Written by Dublin-born Oscar Wilde in 1895, the witty comedy of good manners is set in Victorian London and filled with mistaken identities, secret engagements and... Read more
Next stop in a busy life: Teaching at Boston College By Sean Smith Special to the BIR The way Sheila Falls sees it, playing Irish fiddle and classical violin doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. For a goodly part of her life, Falls — a Rhode... Read more
By Susan Gedutis LindsaySpecial to the BIRWhile her Irish music colleagues were still coming down from the high of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Derry this August, the author and occasional BIR contributor Susan Gedutis Lindsay was drawing her own... Read more
Heatons, McEvoy, Gaelic Storm top lineup By Sean Smith Special to the BIREleanor McEvoy Performances by Boston/New England acts Matt and Shannon Heaton, Lissa Schneckenburger and Annalivia, the return of popular Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm, and rare... Read more
Q. How do you make a concertina? A. Cross an accordion with a stop sign. It’s not as if the concertina has never gotten respect in the traditional Irish music world – maybe it’s just overlooked, in comparison with, say, the fiddle, uilleann pipes, flute,... Read more
BY MARY E. CHOPPA SPECIAL TO THE BIR First the disclaimer: I am the current president of The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA). If you haven’t heard of us, we’re a group of like-minded Irish genealogists who try to help each other find our... Read more
Two family-based bands with different approaches to Irish music will make appearances this month at the Irish Cultural Centre of New England in Canton. On Aug. 3, the ICCNE will feature Michigan quartet Finvarra’s Wren as part of the center’s Tiny Cottage... Read more
Dust off your dancing shoes, because several of the professionals from “Dancing With The Stars” are hitting the road and bringing the sizzle straight to New England. From the Samba to the Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Jive and more, the evening promises a... Read more
Devri, a band? Don’t tell them that – they’re too busy having a good time. OK, yes, Devri is in fact a band, for all practical purposes. But Devri also defies the conventional idea of the “Irish band from Boston” in a few ways: Start with the band’s name... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR It was a promising debut for Féile Cheoil Boston, as some 60 musicians and singers from greater Boston and eastern Massachusetts signed up to take part in instrument and vocal competitions among several different... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR Where do tomorrow’s actors, directors, and theater professionals come from? Many teenage theater students start in programs such as that of Lyric First Stage. Lyric First Stage is a unique, five-week summer program... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR For some Boston-area Irish musicians, early summer might be called Between-the-Fleadhs season. It’s the period following the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil – the annual regional Irish music competition, which this year took... Read more

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