Sunday September 30, 2012 / 4:00pmMusic Mad: How Chief O'Neill Saved the Soul of Ireland
How was your experience?
Based on historical facts about a real Irish immigrant who helped guide Chicago through the tumult of changing after the Great Fire to the burly City of Big Shoulders. There are no curtains, there is only one exit, and scene shifting is done solely by the appearance of actors or their "disappearance" upon turning to face a wall and standing very still. It's almost uncanny how well this works. Within the framework of an interview with Chief O'Neil (Martin Hughes), the interviewer (Robert Plimpton) guides us through highlights of O'Neil's life. The enactors do an excellent job of giving us a feel for how important music, especially Irish music, was to O'Neil in his early years and how much more important it became as his adventures led him around the world and, finally, to Chicago. Irish step dancing? yes, but only incidental to a scene depicting life in a small village. Irish songs? yes, but again as illumination of why O'Neil set such high value on it. Irish music? yes, yes yes! Come to enjoy, to be informed, to delight in how O'Neil and his collaborator saved Irish music..