This year, The Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a full weekend of performances featuring Irish fiddling, step dancing, harp playing, singing, and story-telling.
Legendary fiddler Larry Reynolds of Waltham, founder of the Irish Musicians Association, lead a fiddle quartet (pictured in the center.)
Unfortunately, Reynolds, who led the Irish orchestra called Comhaltas since the show’s inception, died last October at the age of 83. Next
For performers and viewers alike, Reynolds’s almost magical Irish fiddle tunes were one of the elements that made this celebration unforgettable. But even without their leader, the music of the Irish orchestra Comhaltas will go on at the Reagle Music Theatre.
Friday evening’s performance will include a special tribute to the late fiddler, who immigrated to Boston in 1953 and lived in Waltham for most of his adulthood.
In the picture, Larry Reynolds (seated,left) performs with his Irish orchestra, Comhaltas. Next
Dozens of musicians who performed with Reynolds in the past, both at the Waltham theater and at Irish music sessions throughout Boston and even in Ireland, will join Comhaltas in the orchestra pit for the tribute.
As in past years, the St. Patrick’s Day tribute will include highlights such as the Massachusetts Harp Ensemble (pictured above), singing by Broadway performers Sarah Pfisterer and Rick Hilsabeck, Irish step dancing led by Liam Harney, and comical storyteller Jerry Walker of Waltham, who refers to his act as “the non-musical part of the show.” Next
In 1975, Reynolds was one of the founding members of the Boston chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann (Irish Musicians Association), turning it into one of the largest branches in the group’s worldwide network.
The Boston chapter is devoted to preserving and handing down the traditions of Irish music and dance.
Irish tenor Rusty Russell and singer Betsy Foley are pictured. Next
Pictured is impish Irish storyteller Harold "Jerry" Walker. Walker is another original cast member of the Reagle show who has been performing at the theater since 1978.
Even though he wasn’t born in Ireland, he does his stories in an Irish brogue echoing his mother’s Cork lineage.
“Larry Reynolds was a good musician and an even finer person,” Walker reflected. “Last year was my first show since losing my wife to cancer, and Larry gave me so much love and support throughout the show. That’s how his music was, too: full of love and care. From up on stage, I used to look down into the orchestra pit during my set and see his beaming little face. I’m going to miss that this year.” Next
“A Little Bit of Ireland” will be performed Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington St., Waltham.
The tribute to Larry Reynolds takes place during Firday’s performance.
Tickets are $35, $38, $43 and $50 for adults; $25 for youths ages 5-18; $3 discount for seniors 60 and older. Group rates are also available. For tickets and information call 781-891-5600 or visit www.reaglemusictheatre.org.
Pictured: Liam Harney and his troupe of step dancers Back to the beginning
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