Arts and Entertainment

By R. J. Donovan Special to the BIR Erica Spyres – actress, singer and classical violinist – has spent her life surrounded by music. Her parents are both music teachers. Her brothers are both singers. And her family was honored as “The Most Musical... Read more
In addition to “A Christmas Celtic Sojourn,” holiday-related happenings in the area include a performance by “The Celtic Kates” – Kate Chadbourne, Katie Mahoney, Katie O’Neill and Cait Sargent Lubelczyk – on December 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hibernian... Read more
Low Lily: The trio Low Lily, formerly known as Annalivia, is (L-R) Lissa Schneckenburger, Liz Simmons and Flynn Cohen. Andy Cambria photo Adieu, Annalivia. Hello, Low Lily. For the better part of a decade, the Eastern Massachusetts-based band Annalivia... Read more
Elf: Buddy The Elf spreads his holiday cheer in “Elf The Musical,” playing The Citi Wang Theater from November 17 - December 6. Joan Marcus photo “Elf” first jingled to life as a holiday film in 2003.  It immediately became an audience favorite, taking in... Read more
North Shore Music Theatre is presenting the Tony Award winning “Billy Elliot: The Musical” through Oct. 11.  With music by Elton John, lyrics by Lee Hall and based on the film of the same name, this is the story of a young boy with a fiery passion to... Read more
The Dorchester Irish Heritage Festival [see separate story in this edition] is certainly the big highlight event in Boston-area Irish/Celtic-related doings for October, but as always there will be plenty of activity elsewhere, including performances by... Read more
When you’ve had as long and productive a musical career as Finbar Furey, picking out a defining moment might seem difficult. But in his case, there are at least two – and in both instances, he walked away from certain success. The first time was in 1970,... Read more
Perhaps the worst thing you can say about this CD is that it makes you wish for more – like a companion DVD. “From Tulla to Boston: Live at The Burren” is a recording of last November’s Trad Youth Exchange concert that took place in The Burren in... Read more
Appearances by Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Cape Cod fiddler Rose Clancy and guitarist Pierre Bensusan plus a reunion of the Boston-area fiddle trio Halali are among the highlights of September Irish/Celtic events taking place in the Greater Boston... Read more
At Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre through Oct. 11 Jake Emmerling (third from left) with the cast of the national touring company of “The Book of Mormon,” playing the Citi Emerson Colonial Theatre through October 11. Photo © Joan Marcus, 2014 Theater has... Read more
Not that the Burren “Backroom” series hasn’t had plenty of wow-inducing shows during its nearly four years of existence, but this month’s line-up is something of a marvel: three acts that collectively represent nearly five decades – and some of the most... Read more
It all seems to fit together: Lindsay Straw, who has a pretty lucrative business as a wedding entertainer – when she’s not asserting herself as one of the better singers and guitar/bouzouki players in the Boston Irish music scene, that is – releases a... Read more
Common Shakespeare: All the world’s a stage as “King Lear” marks the 20th anniversary of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presenting Shakespeare on the Common. Performances are free and run through August 9. Ryan Maxwell photo The first thing you should... Read more
Irish culture has for many years extended its reach well beyond Ireland itself, whether through emigration, various advances in technology, or the enduring popularity of Irish music, dance, and other forms of artistic expression. That’s the concept behind... Read more
John Patrick Shanley has written more than 25 plays and screenplays. He is perhaps best known for the film “Moonstruck” and the Broadway play “Doubt: A Parable.”  The former, the story of a bookkeeper from Brooklyn who falls for the brother of the man... Read more
The partnership of Boston-area musicians Nathan Gourley and Laura Feddersen is proof that, sometimes, good things happen because they simply should. To start with, the pair have some significant things in common: Both are from the Midwest, both came from... Read more
Young local musicians hoping to play at Ireland’s biggest traditional music event are getting a helping hand from one of the Boston area’s most famous Irish pubs – and one of its most celebrated comic personalities.
 Realta Geala, whose nearly 20 members... Read more
The annual Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Mid-Atlantic Fleadh, held the weekend of May 8-10 in Parsippany, NJ, saw a number of Greater Boston musicians – especially younger ones – enjoy success. The CCE Boston music school’s Realta Geala youth ensemble... Read more
Braintree native Michael Ryan appears in Disney’s high-energy Tony Award-winning hit musical, “Newsies,” at Boston’s Opera House June 23 - July 5. Michael Ryan is living the dream.  It wasn’t all that long ago that the young actor was sitting in Boston’s... Read more
He may not have intended it that way, but the title for New England folk musician Keith Murphy’s fine recent solo album seems a little autobiographical. “Suffer No Loss” is a refrain from one of the album’s songs, a dialogue between a couple on the pros... Read more