Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Broadway Philadelphia presents The 20th Anniversary World Tour of Riverdance to the Academy of Music through June 19, 2016. This is not your father’s 7 minute dance piece that was created 20 years ago. It is an exhilarating confluence of soft shoe and hard shoe dance routines, flamenco, acrobatics, singing, instrumentation, projections and special lighting effects. The anticipation in the air is palpable as the show begins with a dark stage highlighting only  a soprano soloist, soon accompanied by a galaxy of stars projected onto a screen behind her and a some lines of poetry recited on the opposite end of the stage. As a translucent screen arises, a mist appears at her feet; sunlight is projected on the screen, and members of the Riverdance troupe begin to make their way onto the stage with perfect precision.  No matter who is dancing for the rest of the evening that precision is never lost.  The use of lighting as a special effects tool is exquisite. One number, entitled Thunderstorm, features the Riverdance Male Irish Dance Principal and the men in the troupe. Dressed in black, they enter the stage as lightning flashes behind them on the projected screen. Once again, their precision is a marvel; there is not one instance when any dancer is out of step with any other.  Music is interspersed throughout the program.  Not only is the audience treated to some remarkable Irish music on the fiddle, drums, Uilleeann pipes, whistles and soprano saxophone, but the cast is given an opportunity to change costumes without keeping the audience waiting.   A delightful dance number features some of the younger members of the troupe in a soft shoe routine. The young girls, dressed in pink, are as agile as young fillies prancing around.  The older males leap across the stage, reminiscent of gazelles. The female principal very boldly shoos them off one by one, protecting her flock. Shockingly, included in this program of Irish Dancers, is a small extraordinarily acrobatic Russian troupe that will have you spellbound.  Another surprise are two American tap dancers who have a dance-off of sorts with three of the Irish step dancers.. It would not be fair to tell you who wins.  It’s only one of the many reasons for you to come to see this phenomenal show. Come to see the Riverdance troupe and Principal dancers.  You will be blown away their level of expertise.  Come to hear the musicians. They are true showmen; you will not only enjoy their music but their humorous approaches as well.  Come to see the contest between the tap dancers  and the Irish dancers.  Come to hear the lovely acapella singing and the rich tones of the baritone soloist..  Be astonished at the special effects lighting and outstanding projections. This is a very short run so purchase your tickets now by calling 215-893-1993, visiting or the Kimmel Center Box Office.  Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883. 

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