Rockin’ Road to Dublin offers Irish music, dance with rock show excitement
There’s nothing else quite like Rockin’ Road to Dublin.
The show’s 65-plus city tour began in September 2016. The tour will be stopping in Savannah on Feb. 26 at the Lucas Theatre.
The cast contains three world champion Irish dancers, 11 other dancers, eight musicians and two vocalists. The show was created by musician Chris Smith and Irish dancer Scott Doherty, who are its co-executive producers.
“We’ve taken the best parts of an Irish dance show, a theatrical Broadway show and a rock show and turned them into a new genre,” Smith says. “The music is played by a rock band and there is a storyline.
“The show is full energy and fun for all ages,” he says. “We’ve taken old Irish songs people like and the dancing that usually comes with an Irish dance show.”
The show grew from some ideas its creators had.
“We’ve been working on this show a little over six years,” Doherty says. “This is our first big national tour.
“We were actually working out at the gym one day. We were talking about shows we wanted to see.
“We were saying we wished one show did this, and another show did that,” Doherty says. “We realized we both liked the same kinds of shows.”
As a dancer, Doherty was interested in doing a dance show.
“I had always wanted to do a new Irish dance show and Chris had similar ideas with rock music for this dream of a show we’d love to make,” Doherty says. “We talked about it as an idea, and one day it hit us that we had to actually do it.”
Smith is the show’s lead percussionist. A lifelong musician and performer, he has toured with Celtic rock band The American Rogues.
Since 2006, Smith has been performing as a percussionist in the Irish music and dance shows at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. He has helped create several productions around the Richmond/Newport News area in Virginia, including “Souled Out” and “Altar Boyz.”
Doherty is the show’s choreographer and lead dancer. The 2009 Men’s World Champion of Irish Dance, he made his professional debut in 2005 with the North American tour of “Riverdance.”
Since then Doherty has toured the world with both “Riverdance” and “Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.” Doherty was invited to perform the lead role of Lorcan in “Gaelforce Dance” for its 2012-13 tours of Europe and Asia.
Since 2007, Doherty has performed in the Irish dance shows at Busch Gardens, serving as Celtic Fyre’s dance captain and as the principal lead dancer since 2012. He has been a guest performer with many acclaimed Irish acts, including the Irish Tenors, Cherish the Ladies, Michael Londra and Andy Cooney.
Rockin’ Road to Dublin is a dream come true for Smith and Doherty.
“Every night is exciting,” Doherty says. “People are repetitively saying they’ve never seen anything like this.”
Their specially selected performers make a cohesive team.
“This is our dream team,” Doherty says. “We handpicked everybody that we wanted.
“We are fortunate to have so many talented friends,” he says. “It made sense to us to call them up.”
The two handled all aspects of the production.
“We built the costumes from scratch,” Smith says. “It’s a nice balance of edgy rock ‘n’ roll, but we’re keeping the Irish steel to it.”
Not only is the show popular, its performers are also having fun.
“We’re having a blast,” Doherty says. “I like to tell people if they think they’ve seen it all when it comes to Irish dance and music, come to our show and we’ll prove you wrong.
“It’s a high-energy show. People say they are never bored.
“From start to finish, people will be energized by the show,” he says. “From little kids to grandparents, everyone seems to enjoy it.”
IF YOU GO
What: Rockin’ Road to Dublin
When: 7 p.m. Feb. 26
Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.
Info: 912-525-5050, savannahboxoffice.com, rockinroadtodublin.com