Celtic Woman performs in Sarasota

May 9, 2013 

If you just can't wait until the next PBS pledge drive to see Celtic Woman, you're in luck. They'll be at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall May 9.

The group has had a fluid membership since it was formed in 2004. David Downes, a former music director from the acclaimed Irish-flavored dance show "Riverdance," chose the original members and put together a show combing traditional Irish music with pop songs.

The group gained fame in this country mostly through a PBS special in the mid-1990s, and since then it has enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with PBS.

The network airs Celtic Woman shows during pledge drives, amid the classic rock, doo-wop and folk nostalgia shows. As contributions come into the PBS stations, Celtic Woman's popularity grows.

Celtic Woman has released more than a dozen albums in less than a decade, many of them CD-DVD packages, and have sold close to 6 million copies, regularly topping Billboard's world music charts.

Only one of the original singers remains in the lineup, but that doesn't matter too much. This is a show with a cast, not a concert by a band, and the formula never wavers: Lovely Irish women with great voices sing lush arrangements of traditional ballads and modern easy-listening favorites, all staged to impart an ethereal and mythic tone.

The show's sold out, but if you keep checking you may be able to pick up some tickets that have been released or ones that have been returned.

Details: 7:30 p.m. May 9, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: Sold out. Information: 941-953-3368 or vanwezel.org.

-- Marty Clear

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