Arts and Entertainment

BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR It’s a dead-of-winter Saturday, but things are quite lively inside the German International School Boston building in Brighton where some three dozen students of the O’Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance are going through... Read more
‘BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR “Heartbeat of Home” could rightfully be called “Riverdance” for the new millennium, taking Irish dance to the next level. When the exuberant production makes its East Coast debut at the Citi Wang Theatre from March 26... Read more
The 11th annual BCMFest (January 10 and 11) drew more than 1,100 people to Harvard Square to see some of the Boston area’s best Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton musicians, dancers and singers. The festival, a program of Passim, began the night of January 10... Read more
BY THOMAS O’GRADY SPECIAL TO THE BIR For the past few weeks, I have been thumbing back and forth through a massive hot-off-the-press coffee table book, The Great War: a Photographic Narrative. A project of Great Britain’s Imperial War Museums, the book... Read more
Piper a fixture in local music scene BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR Coming to Boston represented both a commitment and a leap of faith for Joey Abarta. By his early 20s, the Los Angeles native was already an accomplished uilleann piper, having toured... Read more
BY R. J. DONOVAN SPECIAL TO THE BIR With wit and neurotic comedy, Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” stirred things up when it premiered on Broadway in 1970 following an out-of-town tryout right here at Boston’s Shubert Theatre. Lacking a linear storyline, it... Read more
Celtic dance – in both a traditional and contemporary vein – will be the focus of the BCMFest Nightcap, the grand finale for the 11th annual BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest), on Sat., Jan. 11. A grassroots celebration of local Irish, Scottish, Cape... Read more
BY SEAN SMITH SPECIAL TO THE BIR The Murphy bed is one of those quintessential Irish-American success stories, born (allegedly) of romance and determination. As legend has it, San Franciscan William L. Murphy came up with his namesake invention at the... Read more
Change of date: the Keenan/Noonan performance is Thursday, Jan 23. Uilleann pipes virtuoso Paddy Keenan and Boston College faculty musicians Jimmy Noonan and Sheila Falls will be among the performers featured during the spring 2014 Gaelic Roots series of... Read more
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 Lindsay Special to the BIR While 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