‘Rhythm in the Night’ brings Irish dance to Schwartz Center

Justin Boros plays the lead role and is co-creator of “Rhythm in the Night, The Irish Dance Spectacular,” coming to Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts March 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-$31. (Submitted photos)

Justin Boros plays the lead role and is co-creator of “Rhythm in the Night, The Irish Dance Spectacular,” coming to Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts March 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-$31. (Submitted photos)

The Schwartz Center for the Arts is extending St. Patrick’s Day a little longer by bringing “Rhythm in the Night, The Irish Dance Spectacular” to the Dover theater March 25 at 7:30 p.m.

The production re-imagines traditional Irish dance for a show that centers around a fallen hero and his rise to redemption against the backdrop of ancient ruins.

Led by former “Lord of the Dance” lead dancer, Justin Boros, the show features 20 Irish dancers and musicians.

But unlike “Lord of the Dance,” the show takes on a more orchestral feel rather than the traditional tin whistle and fiddle most closely associated with Irish dancing.

Best Bets logo CLEAR copy“I really wanted to take it in a new direction and make it more dramatic with the style of music and the storyline,” said Mr. Boros, who co-created the show.

“So I just started thinking ‘How can I make this even better?’ I was influenced by the music of Hans Zimmer and worked in the costumes while keeping the keeping the Celtic flair to create a unique impact.”

Mr. Zimmer, a German composer, is responsible for the scores of films such as “The Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Dark Knight” and “Gladiator.”

Along with overseeing the production, Mr. Boros dances the lead role of Balor, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 275-pound villain who has crossed over to the dark side where his former love and his younger brother try to rescue him.

To achieve the physique, Mr. Boros undertook extensive weight training on top of the normal regimen an Irish dancer has to endure.

“I wanted to be able to create this character without using a lot of costuming. So I trained to a point where I was still light on my feet while still achieving the look,” he said.

“It’s almost as if Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is out there dancing. I definitely stick out. When I first appear, my henchmen bring me out and take off the cape and then I dance.

“I’ve had people tell me after the show that they thought I was a prop. That there’s no way this guy can dance.”

Mr. Boros credits his unorthodox approach to Irish dance mostly to the fact that he didn’t train traditionally. In fact, most of what he learned was self-taught.

He didn’t take it up until he was 15 years old. Up until then, he was a varsity member of his high school’s basketball team in Akron, Ohio.

Justin Boros plays the hulking in "Rhythm in the Night."

Justin Boros plays the hulking Balor in “Rhythm in the Night.”

“I turned on Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the Dance’ on TV one night and was completely captivated by it,” he said by phone Wednesday afternoon prior to a performance in Binghamton, New York.

“I saw this piece called ‘Warriors’ with all of these guys. It was a very masculine number with everyone was in sync and moving their feet together.

“I started doing some research and got this 4-by-8 piece of wood and practiced until all hours in my parents’ basement.”

A year and a half later, a family trip to Florida’s Epcot Center followed where four daily productions of “The Best of The Lord of the Dance” was being staged.

Mr. Boros handed an audition tape of him doing the moves to someone with the production and was told he would have to wait about a month to hear if he made the grade.

Back the next day to see another staging of the show, he was flagged down by the tour manager and told he could audition for the cast after the final show that day.

He ended up getting the job and became only one of three Americans to join the touring production and soon became known as a prodigy in the Irish dance community.

“My parents were extremely supportive during that time. Actually the whole town was. I ended up finishing high school by correspondence,” he said.

He toured the world with “Lord of the Dance” for two and a half years, after which he left to pursue college and begin work on his own production.

“Rhythm in the Night” took nearly eight years to get off the ground, two years alone to complete the 19-track original soundtrack, composed by twins Andrew and Jared DePolo.

The show has been playing since 2014 and is currently on its third tour of the country. It played Wilmington’s Playhouse on Rodney Square Tuesday and will be staged tonight in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It is the second-biggest touring Irish dance show behind Mr. Flatley’s “Riverdance.”

His company, Two Step Productions, is gearing up to launch its second production later this year. “Rhythm in the Night, The Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular” will debut at the Paramount Theater in New York City in December.

“I’m very blessed. We get standing ovations every night. This just proves if you set your mind on something and are willing to work for it, good things can happen,” Mr. Boros said.

Tickets to the Schwartz show are $31 for adults, $28 for seniors 62 and over, $25 for students and military members and $15 for children 12 and under.

To purchase them, call 678-5152, visit schwartzcenter.com or visit the box office at 226 S. State St.

Celtic Harvest at Schwartz

To help extend your St. Patrick’s Day, popular local band Celtic Harvest will play a free concert tonight at 7:30 at the Schwartz Center for the Arts. General admission tickets will be distributed at the door.

Celtic Harvest will present an evening of traditional Irish and Scottish music. Celtic Harvest has been playing in Delaware and Maryland for more than 18 years. The group is comprised of five musicians who have been involved with the Delaware folk music scene since the early 1990s.

Talent sought

Staying at the Schwartz, the theater, in partnership with the Dover R&B recording artist James Napier, known as LaShaade, will be host A Night Like The Apollo May 13.

Produced by Jazzy-V Productions, this evening will present an opportunity for emerging vocalists, (single performers or duos) to compete on stage.

In order to participate, contestants must be between the ages of 12 and 28, submit a demo, bio and a $20 entry fee to the Schwartz Center. Submissions can also be mailed with the entry fee to P.O. Box 1449, Dover, DE 19903. All entries must be received no later than April 1.

All submissions will be judged by a selected panel of voice and entertainment professionals an selected entries will perform at a live audition at the Schwartz Center on Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Out of these performers, at least 20 acts will be invited to compete May 13.

The winner of the competition will be awarded a beginner’s recording contract and a gift bag worth $1,000. Contestants will be judged on their vocal abilities, stage presence and personal style. Also, the winner will perform with LaShaade the next night during the “Evening of Love and Inspiration” concert at the Schwartz May 14 at 7:30.

For more information contact the Schwartz Center at 678-5152 or Barbara@schwartzcenter.com.

Variety in Bridgeville

Speaking of talent, the Bridgeville Lions Club’s 63rd Annual Variety Show takes place tonight and Saturday at 7:30 in the Woodbridge Middle School Auditorium, 307 Laws St., Bridgeville.

Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door.

A day of Beethoven

The Dover Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Donald Buxton, will launch the second half of its 2015-2016 season on Sunday, at 3 p.m. at the Dover Downs’ Rollins Center.

The orchestra will perform a program of works composed exclusively by Beethoven. Centerpiece of the concert is his acclaimed Symphony No. 7 in A Major. Additional works include Egmont Overture, Turkish March from “The Ruins of Athens,” and two of Beethoven’s Romances for Violin and Orchestra, featuring the playing of concertmaster Stefan Xhori.

Mr. Xhori has been an active performer in Albania, his native country, Greece and France, and continues to play with many organizations in the tristate area since he moved to the U.S. in 1993. He teaches violin at the Music School of Delaware and at his home studio.

Valet parking will be offered at $5. Additionally there will be free shuttle service throughout the parking lots. Sweet treats will continue to be offered at the bake sale.

Admission prices are adults $20, seniors/students/military $15. Young people younger than 18 are admitted free with a paying adult.

For ticket sales log on to www.doversymphony.org or call (302) 270-1903. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is another chapter of the sci-fi “Divergent” series “Allegiant,” the faith-based film “Miracles from Heaven” and the Olympic-themed comedy-drama “The Bronze.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2,” the comedy “Daddy’s Home” and “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.”

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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