The famous phrase ‘There’s No Show Like a Joe Show’ is expected to ring out across the west next month when the most acclaimed musical event of the last year, the award-winning Joe Dolan - The Reunion Show, rolls into the Royal Theatre, Castlebar. Romance will most certainly be in the air for Joe’s many fans in the west as the magical state-of-the-art production will be staged at the new entertainment mecca on Valentine’s Night, February 14, as part of a weekend-long musical celebration which also features country and western megastar, Jimmy Buckley.
Crowds and critics were united in their praise for the spectacular Joe Dolan – The Reunion Show after it was first staged in front of 10,000 fans in Killarney last year.
The show sees Joe return to the stage to perform across a series of giant video screens while his band, which features his brother Ben Dolan, plays live on stage beneath. The stunning sound and vision concert experience has utilised concert footage of Joe singing his greatest hits, all meticulously edited and projected ‘as live’, ensuring the show has all the drama of a real Joe show. Many who have seen it have commented that you would forget Joe is not in the room such is his warm, all-embracing presence on screen. The build-up to the show features a film of Joe preparing his trademark white suit before he bounds onto the stage to the strains of “Good Looking Woman”. Tears and cheers greeted his arrival onto the stage in Killarney, and for the full two hours afterwards fans danced in the aisles as Joe held court as if he was there in the concert arena.
The show is a real family affair, as Joe’s band not only features Ben, but also features the late singer’s nephews, Adrian and Ray, as well as his niece Sandra, who, in one of the show’s most poignant moments, joins Joe for a virtual duet on one of his greatest hits, “Teresa”.
Joe Dolan – The Reunion Show is about more than music though. At intervals throughout, Joe’s life story is lovingly narrated by Ben, whose upbeat storytelling is accompanied by many moving images and never-before-seen video footage of his beloved brother at work, rest and play. Ben says that the Reunion name came about because it gives Joe’s fans who used to travel from all over Ireland to see their hero play a chance not only to be reunited with Joe, but also with each other. It also gives his old band mates a chance to reminisce about their days on the road and to meet their loyal followers and new fans alike.
For Sligo man James Cafferty, promoting the show is a dream come true. As a youngster, James was a big Joe fan who used to queue to see his hero perform across the west and he says the reason he got into show business was because of Joe Dolan! “I remember queuing up to see Joe play in the 1960s and I was hooked from that moment on,” Mr Cafferty reveals. “He was my inspiration, and there will never be another entertainer like him.” A lifelong fan, James went on to promote his hero for much of the 1990s and 2000s, with hundreds of Joe’s concerts bearing the Showtours name. When it came to creating a fitting tribute to Joe, the Dolan family turned to the Mayo man for help.
Fans from all over the world are expected into the west for what has been dubbed the St Valentine’s Spectacular. Indeed, when a statue to the late singer was unveiled in his hometown of Mullingar to mark the first anniversary of his passing last month, more than 12,000 fans from all over the world, including some from as far as Australia and the United States, descended on the Westmeath town. Over three nights in Killarney last July, 10,000 flocked to the Kingdom for the premiere of the live stage show. Tickets for each show can be purchased individually by contacting the Royal at 0818 300 000 or by logging onto www.ticketmaster.ie or www.showtours.ie