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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO CONTRIBUTED PHOTO "Celtic Nights: The Emigrants Bridge," 7:30 p.m. March 12, Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown

'Celtic Nights' crosses a 'Bridge' at Miller Symphony Hall

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by JENNIFER McKEEVER Special to The Press in Focus

"Celtic Nights: The Emigrants Bridge," 7:30 p.m. March 12, Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown, is a two and one-half hour show featuring three male vocalists, three female singers, six dancers and musicians.

In a recent interview, the show's director and producer Michael Durkan explains, "We built the storyline around the journey Irish immigrants made by ship to America with their hardships they endured, mostly arriving penniless.

"Some of the ships were called the 'Coffin Ships' because so many people died trying to cross. There is a great reaction to this thought-provoking show."

A section of the performance is called "A Woman's Heart" where the women of the show come together to express the perspective of women and their travels.

"It's not just a question of getting up there and singing songs, but singing songs with meaning for the people in the audience."

"Celtic Nights" is a night for folks to appreciate the endeavors of their own families and share the Celtic tradition and the essence of the people from Ireland with their hopes and desires through song, dance and music.

The show ends with a chance for audience members to mingle with the cast. The audience will have a chance to talk to the performers about where they came from.

The dancing includes Irish jigs, reels, hornpipes, hard shoe, soft shoe and intricate movement choreographed by Richard Griffin, one of the most innovative and progressive choreographers of Irish dance today.

Says Durkan, "There is a bit of everything for everybody: music, song, dance and laughter."