Twenty years after debuting in Ireland, “Riverdance” is nothing short of an international institution that continues making its way around North America, South America, Oceania, Asia, Europe, South Africa. After a four-year absence from Chicago stages, the show lands at the Cadillac Palace Theatre for week-long run in honor of the anniversary, though this isn’t merely a repeat of the same old edition that’s attracted 25 million attendees over the years.
Instead “Riverdance: The 20th Anniversary World Tour” is re-loaded with updated lighting, fresh projections, new costumes and an inaugural dance number to supplement all the classic routines that would have even the most elite athlete aching after a mere minute. Clearly, the current cast is in finely chiseled form, and for nearly two hours, effortlessly turned in scenes filled with action, romance, humor and longing with an affectionate eye always locked on their homeland.
Musically speaking, “Riverdance” also boasts an exceptional, world-class band, whose primary style may settle in the Celtic flavors of the fiddle, uilleann pipes, tin whistle and bodhrán, but also possesses vast rhythmic appeal.
No, “Riverdance” doesn’t have the plot of a traditional musical, but reads more like a variety show tied together by some narration and visual supplementation further illustrating Ireland. However, the show is really a multi-cultural and cross genre affair, touching on everything from a double man tap battle (accented with a hip-hop flavor) to segments of Latin inspiration and many other moments featuring a Russian-styled troupe.
Musically speaking, “Riverdance” also boasts an exceptional, world-class band, whose primary style may settle in the Celtic flavors of the fiddle, uilleann pipes, tin whistle and bodhrán, but also possesses vast rhythmic appeal. Put it all together in a harmonious melting pot, and more than two decades after it first debuted, this theatrical mainstay upholds its place on top of the many like-minded shows that followed in its steps.