By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
Their strapless ball gowns and flashy shows might make the average Irish folk fiddler cry “Vegas!”
But the women who perform with Celtic Woman are well-trained and acclaimed musicians.
Hey, they’re on public television all the time.
Celtic Woman is the creation of David Downes, former music director of Riverdance, the Irish production that captured a worldwide fan base in the 1990s.
The Celtic Woman cast, with its similar appeal, will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Comcast Arena in Everett.
Dennis Vannoy, 53, of Granite Falls, plans to be in the audience. This will be his 15th live Celtic Woman show. His dates for the evening are his daughter, Floreen Vannoy, 28, of Marysville, and his 10-year-old granddaughter, Emma Weaver, who has seen Celtic Woman seven times since she was 4 years old.
“We are the No. 1 fans of Celtic Woman,” said Vannoy, who is quick to share show memorabilia he has collected for Emma during the past seven years. “We have met some of the performers on a couple of occasions, and we hope to see them again on Tuesday.”
The global music sensation, going on 10 years, is touring in support of its new album and DVD, “Emerald: Musical Gems.”
Vannoy bought Floreen and Emma green gowns to wear to the concert, and he will be wearing a gold tie with his tuxedo.
“We’ve primarily seen Celtic Woman at the Paramount in Seattle, so to have them perform in Everett is amazing,” he said.
Vannoy, who has flown across the country to attend Celtic Woman concerts, still gets goose bumps when he thinks about the first time he heard the ensemble on public television.
“I was amazed at the sound they produced. I could not turn it off,” he said. “I had never heard anything like it. I was floored, and I was hooked. I’ll never get over it.”
Emma shyly concedes that she would like to someday play the violin, sing and twirl around on stage like the Celtic Woman performers. In the meantime, she likes to wear her concert gowns for school pictures and to read about the cast.
The Celtic Woman quartet is led by fiddler Mairead Nesbitt, a former all-Ireland fiddle champ, who has a background in classical music. The others, Susan McFadden, Lisa Lambe, Mairead Carlin and Lynn Hilary all have professional experience or degrees in theater and music.
The Celtic Woman show in Everett will include traditional Celtic folk songs, hymns, musical theater and pop tunes.
“Emerald: Musical Gems”
Celtic Woman, 7 p.m. March 25, Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett. Tickets range from $47 to $101. Call 866-332-8499.