Recently, the producer of RIVERDANCE, Moya Doherty, announced that the United States touring production of the internationally-acclaimed worldwide phenomenon will close in June, 2012. RIVERDANCE, part of the Broadway Season, will play in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater FOR THE VERY LAST TIME, tonight, May 11 through 13 for five performances only!
Tickets for RIVERDANCE are on sale now and range from $55 to $100. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-731-3333, online at kimmelcenter.org/broadway, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad & Spruce Sts. (open daily 10 am to 6 pm) or at the Merriam Theater box office, 250 S. Broad St. (open during performances only). Groups of 10 or more will receive discounts for select performances by calling 215-790-5883. Performances include: Friday & Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm; Sunday evening at 6:30 pm; and matinees Saturday at 2:00 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm.
“When we opened RIVERDANCE in New York in March 1996, we never thought for one minute that our show would still be running 15 years later,” said Moya Doherty. “Three years ago we embarked on our farewell tour, saying good-bye to every city in North America we have ever played in over the years, and next June 17th in our 16th year this current production of RIVERDANCE will end and we will say our final good-bye. It has been a source of immense pride for me as Producer that America took RIVERDANCE to its heart to such an amazing extent and I would like to pay tribute to every dancer, musician, singer and all the crew and staff who served RIVERDANCE so well over the years. “
The show that started it all, RIVERDANCE, has been performing in the United States since March, 1996 when it had its U.S. premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Since then, the show has tapped its way onto the world stage thrilling millions of people around the globe.
While the touring production in the U.S. will close on June 17, 2012, productions of RIVERDANCE will continue to tour the world.
From Los Angeles to Louisville, Seattle to Boston, Chicago to Chattanooga or Memphis to Miami, the power of RIVERDANCE - its music and more than 50 stomping feet - has entertained millions.
Composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, to date, RIVERDANCE has played over 10,000 performances, been seen live by more than 22 million people in over 350 venues throughout 40 countries across 4 continents. They have traveled well over 600,000 miles (or to the moon and back!), played to a worldwide television audience of 2 billion; sold over 3 million copies of the Grammy Award-winning CD (certified Platinum in the US) and over 10 million videos making it one of the best-selling entertainment videos in the world! RIVERDANCE had its world premiere at the Point Theatre, Dublin, in February 1995.
What began as a seven-minute dance segment on the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest (televised to over 300 million people throughout Europe) and then quickly turned into a full-scale production has become much more than an international theatrical success. "I believe RIVERDANCE has been basically a pathfinder,” said Niall O’Dowd, founder of Irish America Magazine and the Irish Voice newspaper. Along with the peace process in Northern Ireland and the economic miracle in Ireland proper, the show “has been a hugely important part of a transformation of the image of Ireland in the last 20 years."
In a flash, RIVERDANCE became Ireland’s greatest ambassador. RIVERDANCE changed the face of Irish dance and despite its imitators, has remained on top and was voted the #1 Variety/Family Entertainment Show in the US (1998).
There have been many milestones along the way including the distinction of being the largest Western musical to play China; a record-breaking line of 100 Irish Dancers mesmerizing 85,000 people at the 2004 Special Olympics in Dublin; a 15th Anniversary celebration at Radio City Music Hall; dancing in Red Square and on the Great Wall of China, two SRO engagements in South Africa and much more.
RIVERDANCE draws on Irish traditions and The Combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music to the present day capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures. This show features an international company all performing to the magic of Bill Whelan’s music.