MASTERCARD BROADWAY SERIES - HOUSTON
"RIVERDANCE - THE SHOW"
THE ORIGINAL INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
COMES TO HOUSTON'S JONES HALL
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT - 14 PERFORMANCES ONLY!
JUNE 17 - 27, 1999
RIVERDANCE - The Show, the Original International Phenomenon, currently on a standing-
room-only tour of North America comes to Houston's Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, June 17 - 27,
1999 as part of the 1998 - 1999 MasterCard Broadway Series.
Prices range from $40.50 - $69.50 and may be purchased at all
Ticketmaster ticket centers or charge-by-phone at 713 -629-3700.
Composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty, and directed by John McColgan,
RIVERDANCE is a celebration of Irish music, song and dance, which focuses on the evolution of
Irish dance, as well as its similarities with - and influences on - other cultures. Mr. Whelan won the
1997 Grammy Award for "Best Musical Show Album" for his original Music and lyrics for
RIVERDANCE. The phenomenon of RIVERDANCE draws on Irish traditions and combines the
richness of the music, with the magic and sensuality of the dance. This extraordinarily unique show
featuring an international company, which has taken the world by storni, now comes to Houston.
RIVERDANCE had its world premiere at the Point Theatre in Dublin in February 1995, where it
opened to unanimous critical acclaim. In addition to the more than six million who have purchased
video versions of the show, to date, over six million people worldwide have seen RIVERDANCE.
RIVERDANCE - The Album, on Celtic Heartbeat/Universal Records, has sold more than 2
million CDs worldwide and is certified Gold in the United States. The album remained 41 on the
Billboard World Music Chart for over six months.
The Tickets for the Houston engagement of RIVERDANCE - The Show can be purchased at all Ticketmaster ticket centers including Foley's and Kroger. To charge-by-phone, call 713-629-3700; for groups of 20 or more, call 713-693-2692 or toll free at 1-800-889-8457. Ticket prices range from $40.50 to $69.50. Showtimes: Tuesday - Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
The MasterCard Broadway Series is made possible by MasterCard International. With
headquarters in Purchase, NY, MasterCard International is a global payments company with one
of the world's most recognized brands. It is dedicated to helping more than 22,000 financial
institutions provide their customers with a variety of payments.
Additional support for the 1998 - 1999 MasterCard Broadway Series is provided by Continental
Airlines, Official and Exclusive Airline and Lucent Technologies, Official Communications
Riverdance-The Show is a celebration of Irish music, song and dance. The show
focuses on the evolution of Irish dance and its similarities with, and influences on, other
cultures. The phenomenon of Riverdance-The Show draws on Irish traditions and
combines the richness of the music with the magic and sensuality of the dance.
Riverdance-The Show was originally conceived as a spectacular seven-minute
intermission entertainment for the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest televised throughout
Europe to an audience of over 300 million viewers. Following the success of that
performance, producer Moya Doherty, composer Bill Whelan, and director John
McColgan, expanded the piece into a full-length stage production.
Riverdance-The Show had its world premiere at the Point Theatre, Dublin, in
February, 1995, where it opened to unanimous critical acclaim. The show has taken the
world by storm and to date, over six million people world-wide have seen Riverdance-
The Show live. In addition, more than six million people have purchased video
versions of the show.
Bill Whelan won the 1997 Grammy Award for "Best Musical Show Album" for his
original music and lyrics for Riverdance--The Show. This extraordinarily unique show,
which features an international company, has touched the hearts of millions around the
world. There are presently three companies of Riverdance-The Show touring the
BILL WHELAN, COMPOSER
Prior to the spectacular success of his Riverdance composition at Eurovision '94, Bill Whelan was well known in Ireland as a composer of music for theatre and television and as a record producer with a number of Irish and International Hits to his name. His production and arranging credits include, among others, U2, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Richard Harris, Johnny Logan, Paul Brady, Tanita Tikaram and The Dubliners.
He has worked extensively in theatre. His adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore had successful runs at London's Old Vic, Melbourne and Sydney and received a Laurence Oliver Award nomination. Since 1989, when he was appointed as composer to the W.B. Yeats International Theatre Festival at Dublin's Abbey Theatre, he has written original music for 15 Yeats plays.
His work with Irish traditional music and musicians has occupied much of his time since 1980 when he was a member of the legendary Planxty. He also produced records for many folk artists including Andy Irvine, Patrick Street, Stockton's Wing, Davy Spillane and the Bulgarian / Irish band, East Wind.
In 1987, he wrote his first major orchestral suite commemorating the film music of the noted Irish composer Sean O'Riada, which was conducted by Elmer Bernstein and performed by the Irish National Symphony Orchestra. His own compositional work in films includes Lamb starring Liam Neeson, RTE's thriller Twice Shy and Donald Taylor Black's award-winning At the Cinma Palace. He recently completed an emotive score for the Terry George / Jim Sheridan film Some Mother's Son, which was the No.1 movie on release in Ireland and the soundtrack album a Top 20 hit. Whelan recently completed teh score for the film version of Dancing at Lughnasa starring Meryl Streep.
His specially commissioned orchestral work, The Seville Suite, received its European premiere
performance at the Maestranza in Seville as part of the celebrations for Ireland's National Day at
Expo '92. The last movement of this work was danced by Maria Pages who currently appears in
Riverdance - The Show. His next large scale orchestral work, The Spirit of Mayo, was first
performed in 1993 by an 85-piece orchestra in Dublin's National Concert Hall. Together with
the choral group ANUNA, this piece also featured a powerful Celtic drum corps and a 200 strong
choir. Whelan's latest release The Roots of Riverdance features selections from these works.
The album chronicles the musical history and myriad of cultural influences which inspired him
to write the acclaimed Riverdance.
Riverdance was, of course, composed especially for the interval act for the 1994 Eurovision
Song Contest, an orchestral piece conceived for hard-shoe Irish dance and televised to a
European audience of 300 million viewers. As a single release, Riverdance spent 18 weeks at
no. I in the Irish charts and was a Top Ten hit in the UK. The album of Bill Whelan's music
from Riverdance-The Show has been a huge chart success, going Gold twice in the UK,
reaching double Platinum status in Ireland and Australia and Gold in the US and Canada.
Bill was honoured with a 1997 Grammy Award when the Riverdance record was named the
'Best Musical Show' album.
MOYA DOHERTY, PRODUCER
Moya Doherty conceived Riverdance as a spectacular interval entertainment for the RTt 1994
Eurovision Song Contest, drawing together the key participants and staging the finished piece to
adulatory public reaction.
RTE appointed Moya Doherty to handle Eurovision just four years after she was first selected
and trained as a station producer.
By then, she had already taken charge of the eleven-hour live RTt People in Need Telethon in
1992. In the same year she produced a documentary on child sexual abuse, The Silent Scream, in
which a group of sisters from Dublin told of their abuse by their own father. The Silent Scream
won a Jacob's award and an A. T. Cross Award and was entered by RTt in the Celtic Film
Moya Doherty was bom in Donegal and later moved to Dublin. After joining RTt in the late
1970s as a broadcast assistant in radio, she acted with the Team Educationat Theatre company
and attended RADA in London where she took a course in Classical and Shakespearean Acting
and Directing. She returned to RTt as a production assistant, this time in television. By 1984
she was presenting The Live Arts and fronting RTt's first-ever breakfast TV transmissions from
the Los Angeles Olympics. A 26-part series of feature documentaries, titled The Turning Point,
was also transmitted on RTE and UTV.
JOHN MCCOLGAN, DIRECTOR
John McColgan, Director of Riverdance, is one of Ireland's most accomplished entertainment directors. A former controller of Programmes at tvam, London and former Head of Entertainment in RTE, John is a television production executive with an international track record. He is now Managing Director of Tyrone Productions, a leading independent television and film Production company. He was recently appointed chairman of the newly licensed national commerical radio station, Today FM.
Having played a key role in developing the show from the original dance number into an acclaimed stage production, he then went onto direct the first video recording of Riverdance - The Show which is now the best-ever selling video in the world.