West Branch Arts
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In this heralded production, Padraig Allen’s McLean Avenue Band performs a dazzling
array of Irish music, song and dance. This multitalented, charismatic crew, direct from
Ireland, has “all ages” audiences dancing in the aisles and singing their hearts out! The
interactive show includes magic footwork, raucous fiddle, traditional Irish favorite songs,
Celtic fairy tales and critically acclaimed rock and bluegrass originals. The band’s
expansive repertoire bridges the 3,000 miles between Ireland and the USA with a
unique blend of song and story. From a toe-tapping medley of traditional Irish jigs and
the interactive anthem, Rattlin’ Bog, to a memorable cover of Johnny Cash’s 1961 tune,
“Forty Shades of Green,” the production takes the audience on a musical adventure that
leaves them yearning for more.
Other highlights include the exhilarating footwork of dancer / All-Ireland fiddle champion
– Jake James and the band’s excellent rendition of “The Devil Went Down To Yonkers”
– an adaptation of a famous Charlie Daniels Band song – featuring stellar fiddle work.
The band also performs original material, including “Pedestal,” a captivating duet
featuring Allen and folk singer/dancer Alice Ryan.
“Being from the Emerald Isle myself, a big part of my life revolves around family and
friends,” says Allen. “This is a show that you can enjoy with your entire family, whether
you’ve got some Irish ancestry or not.”
About Padraig Allen
McLean Avenue Band is lead by singer/songwriter Padraig Allen. He was born and
raised in an urban village named Mount Temple, outside the town of Athlone, in County
Westmeath, Ireland, where the Shannon waters flow. Padraig comes from a long line of
successful Irish Traditional/Country musicians and singers. His uncle Tony Allen from
the famous “Foster & Allen” was mainly responsible for kick starting his career;
engaging Padraig to tour with the band. In 1993, one of Padraig’s first
performances was on a show called “Big Top” on the Irish TV network “RTE”. In 1999,
he landed on American shores with the popular Irish Band “The Whole Shabang” as
lead singer and bass player. Currently Allen has been touring the US and internationally
with McLean Avenue. Their album, Easy & Free received critical praise and radio
airplay, and a Christmas song: Christmas on McLean has been played on many radio
stations. WFUV regularly reports the band as being one of their favorite bands on the
scene. Allen notes, “My love for America & my own country, Ireland, leaves me singing
“God Bless America & God Save Ireland”.
Vox Sambou comes from Limbé, Haiti. He writes and performs in Creole, French, English, Spanish and Portugues. He is a founding member of Montreal-based hip-hop collective, Nomadic Massive. He performed across North America at the Kennedy center in Washington; Grand Performances in Los Angeles; Le Printemps de Bourges, France, Chile, Brasil, Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso, Colombia, Brasil, Morocco, Spain, USA.
He is now at his 3rd solo album: “The Brasil Session”, recorded in Brasil, released in spring 2016. Others are “Lakay” in 2008 and “Dyasporafriken” in 2013 – that earned him the nomination of best world album music at GAMIQ.
«The Brasil Session» Live recorded in Sao Paulo, Brasil, has been released in Montreal in May 2016. In 2016 he performed in Francofolie Festival de Montreal, Atlantic Music Exposition – Capo Verde, La Havana World Music Festival, Visa for Music – Rabat, CirculArt – Medellin, Imex India – Calcutta, Apap – New York. SXSW, Austin, USA.
His music focuses on the traditional rhythms of Haiti mixed with elements of afrobeat, jazz, reggae, and hip-hop.
Trick of the Light Theatre is an award-winning company from Aotearoa / New Zealand, founded by Hannah Smith and Ralph
McCubbin Howell. We like to make theatre that is playful, inventive, thought-provoking, and that speaks to the here and now.
Our shows are unified by their attention to narrative, inventive visual design, and belief that theatre should resonate with the
wider world. Previous works include The Road That Wasn’t There (Outstanding New NZ Play, Most Promising Director, and
Production of the Year – Wellington Theatre Awards 2013; Children’s Event Award – Fringe World, Perth 2016; Best Children’s
Event – Adelaide Fringe 2016), Tröll (Outstanding Theatre Award – Fringe Review, Edinburgh, 2019), and The Bookbinder (Best of
the Fringe – NZ Fringe 2014, International Excellence Award – Sydney Fringe Festival 2014, BDO Children’s Theatre Award – Fringe
World, Perth 2015) – a solo show which has toured across NZ, Australia, Canada, the UK, USA, and South Africa, from sell out
runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, to the attic of Aotearoa / New Zealand’s oldest bookbindery. Their latest show, The Griegol,
premiered at Auckland Arts Festival in March 2021. The company is represented in North America by Jim Weiner of Boat Rocker
Hannah Smith is a Wellington based director, designer and producer with an honours degree in English and
Theatre from Victoria University of Wellington. She is co-founder and co-director of Trick of the Light Theatre
and has directed and designed most productions for the company. She received a nomination for Most
Promising Director at the 2011 Wellington Theatre Awards for her work on The Engine Room, and won the
same award in 2013 for The Road That Wasn’t There. She has a background in puppetry and paper-art, and her
work as a designer has been recognised in The Bookbinder (nominated best Production Design NZ Fringe 2014),
and The Road That Wasn’t There (Production of the Year 2013) and Tröll (Outstanding Theatre Award Winner,
Fringe Review, Edinburgh, 2019).
Ralph McCubbin Howell
Ralph McCubbin Howell is a theatre maker from Wellington, and co-director of Trick of the Light Theatre. He
was a member of the NZ Young Shakespeare Company and completed a BA (Hons) in Theatre and English at
Victoria University of Wellington, before training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the UK. Alongside his
work with Trick of the Light, he has performed as an actor and improviser with companies across Aotearoa /
New Zealand including The Court Theatre, Silo, and Snort. He received the award for Outstanding New
Playwright at the 2011 Wellington Theatre Awards for The Engine Room, and Outstanding New NZ Play for The
Road That Wasn’t There in 2013. He has twice been shortlisted for the Adam Play Award, won the Bruce Mason
Playwriting Award in 2014 and received a Masters of the Arts with Distinction in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting) at Victoria
University of Wellington in 2018