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Emerald Isle comes to Western Maryland for festive show

November 28, 2003|by KATE COLEMAN

katec@herald-mail.com

Tony Kenny is looking forward to coming back to Hagerstown and The Maryland Theatre.

"It's a beautiful little theater," he said in a recent telephone interview from New York.

Kenny and his troupe will be in town to present "Christmas Time in Ireland," bringing a taste of the Emerald Isle's December holidays to Western Maryland. There will be music and dance, comedy and Christmas - all with an Irish flavor.

The 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, visit is a stop on a 29-city U.S. tour.

"I enjoy the road over here," says Kenny, who brought his Irish tenor voice to The Maryland Theatre in 1999 headlining Jurys Irish Cabaret. That show, with its home base at Jurys Hotel in Dublin, began in the early 1960s when the hotel found itself with overseas visitors to entertain.

Kenny has been with the Jurys show for 20 years, performing in Dublin, his hometown, six months of the year. He is on the road - or in the air - for nearly the rest. He performs in the United States every fall and spring.

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The "Christmas Time in Ireland" company of 12 includes "The Dynamic Duo of Laughter and Song, Mac & O," guitarist and songwriter Nicholas McCarthy and All-Ireland button accordion player Sam O'Doherty. Songs from their latest recording are included in "Christmas Time in Ireland."

Louise Bowden, principal dancer at Jurys, is billed as "fleet-footed and golden voiced." The 21-year-old has been performing professionally since the age of 5.

Comic Carl Persse will provide his dry humor, and the Dublin City Dancers will present traditional and contemporary Irish dance.

Kenny, who has more than 20 recordings, began his musical career as a star of the original casts of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

He's recently recorded albums that feature songs from stage musicals, "Phantom of the Opera" and "Les Miserables" among them.

Tunes such as "Christmas in Kilarney" and "Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas" will be among the Irish holiday fare to be heard during "Christmas Time in Ireland."

And although there's no direct yuletide connection, Kenny promises he'll be singing "Danny Boy."

"You couldn't have an Irish show without 'Danny Boy,'" he laughs.

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