The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are now on sale for “Rockin’ Road to Dublin,” scheduled for the evening of March 24, 2018 as part of the Winter/Spring Performing Arts Series of events.
Presented inside the Pollak Theatre, the 8 p.m. event marks the “back by popular demand” return to campus of the spectacular touring sensation that combines the traditions of Irish music, the electricity of classic rock, the breathtaking majesty of Irish Dance, and a state-of-the-art light show into an experience that’s captivated audiences from coast to coast.
Just a little more than a year after being founded as a collaboration between musician and tech specialist Chris Smith and Irish Dance World Champion Scott Doherty, “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” made its very first appearance in the New York/New Jersey area on the stage of the Pollak — then newly renovated to accommodate the scale and spectacle of a dynamic stage entertainment that’s helped to introduce a new generation to the Irish Dance experience.
At the same time, the show works happily within an unofficial annual tradition on the Monmouth campus: a springtime celebration of Celtic culture and sounds that’s brought the likes of Sean Tyrrell, Cherish the Ladies, and Caladh Nua to campus in recent seasons, and that boasts a March 1st appearance by acoustic masters Danú. The emerald month of March climaxes in grand and dramatic style with “Rockin’ Road,” and its supercharged union of traditional Irish folk forms with all-American rock and roll theatrics.
When not touring with such acts as Celtic rockers The American Rogues, percussionist-producer Smith developed a parallel career as an in-demand lighting designer for acts ranging from My Chemical Romance to Yanni — a set of skills that have lent an extra layer of visual excitement to the choreography of Doherty, a young veteran who’s performed with Cherish the Ladies, The Irish Tenors, and the North American tour of Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance.”
As lead dancer of “Rockin’ Road,” he spearheads a leaping, whirling, 13-member company that includes lead female performer Ashley Smith, a finalist on TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and one of the youngest American women to earn the title of World Irish Step Dancing Champion. The co-creators are joined by a seven-piece band under the direction of keyboardist Joe Schermann; fronted by lead vocalists Megan Lynn Browning and Brett Benowitz as a fuel-injected vehicle that tells a love story through passionate singing, and the electrifying interplay of lightning-fast fiddlers with driving, pounding rock pyrotechnics.
Tickets for the March 24, 2018 presentation of “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” are priced at $45 and $55 and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/mca.