UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The new generation of Irish rock and dance began in September 2016 when “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” inaugurated its 65-plus-city tour in Henderson, North Carolina. The show will be performed at Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23.
Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12.
“We bring a wee bit of Dublin with a rockin’ edge to the stage,” said Chris Smith, event co-creator and co-executive producer. Smith is also a member of the Celtic band The American Rogues.
Smith has gathered an elite class of musicians to perform in the “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” band: John Baldwin (bass player, The American Rogues), Keven Eknes (an award-winning guitarist from Norway), Marita May (classically trained on violin since age 5; “Celtic Fyre”), Kelly Mills (five-time winner of the Drum Corps and Percussion World Championships), Mike Moore (Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion), Joe Schermann (“Guys and Dolls,” “White Christmas,” “Grease,” “Smokey Joe’s Café” and “Shout”), and Corey Walden (The American Rogues, and founder of The Suzuki School of Milford).
“It’s truly the music that gets the audience on their feet,” said event co-creator and co-executive producer Scott Doherty.
Doherty, the men’s 2009 World Champion of Irish Dance, made his professional debut in 2005 with the North American tour of “Riverdance.” He since has toured the world with that show, as well as Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance.”
For “Rockin’ Road to Dublin,” Doherty chose three-time international Irish dance champion Ashley Smith to be his lead female dancer. On stage since age 3, at 16 Ashley was crowned the World Irish Step Dancing Champion in Belfast, Ireland, in 2004 — making her the youngest American female to win the world title at that time. In addition to being a top-30 female finalist on the hit TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” she also was a featured dancer on the film “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Rounding out the cast are other well-known Irish dancers, including Colin Barkell (“Celtic Fyre”), Mark Chichester (“Lord of the Dance”), Declan Crowley (“West Side Story Mashup”), Bernadette Devereaux (“Lord of the Dance”), Megan Kirk Drake (“Rhythm of the Dance”), Patrick Holland (Cherish the Ladies), Billy Kanaly (“Riverdance”), Emily MacConnell (“Rockin’ Road to Dublin”), Erika Nielsen (“Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games”), world champion Tyler Schwartz (“Celtic Fyre”), Ciara Stillson (“Celtic Fyre”) and Mairéad Stillson (“Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games”).
The show’s star power continues with the production’s lead vocalists — Megan Browning (Harley Boone) and Brett Benowitz (“Born Blue”).
“The lyrics of the songs tell a love story that weaves together the music and dance,” said the show’s director and Broadway choreographer Jeff Whiting (tours of “The Producers” and “Bullets Over Broadway”). “Our goal is to have the audience walk away having had an experience that is entertaining, uplifting and inspirational.”
For more information about the production, and to purchase tickets beginning Jan. 12, visit the Center for Performing Arts online or call 814-863-0255. For group tickets or information, call 814-865-5340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RMS Productions LLC presents the concert. Tickets for “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” are nonrefundable and may not be exchanged for tickets to a Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State presentation.
Parking in the Eisenhower Parking Deck is $5 per vehicle for this event. Patrons with Penn State faculty/staff parking permits will not be charged for parking.
Patrons are welcome to bring a contribution for a book drive aimed at supporting Mid-State Literacy Council’s efforts to improve reading and learning proficiency in children. Titles with reading levels of preschool to sixth grade are preferred. Blue collection buckets are located in the Eisenhower lobby during regular business hours — Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — and during the performance.