By Kathleen Swift
Photos by Chris Cann Photography
Ah, the Irish pub! Beer flowing, some lads singing in the corner and everyone is welcome. This month, you can find all that and more as Connect2Culture brings The Choir of Man to Joplin Memorial Hall March 10 for the best pub concert you’ve ever heard.
The Choir of Man, which was formed in 2017 for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, recreates a traditional Irish pub on stage and acts out the idea of a pub community. Many Irish pubs have football, what we call soccer, but this pub has a choir. The nine men perform pub tunes, folk, rock, choral and Broadway numbers. You may find yourself singing along. The foot-stomping choreography brings a high-energy vibe to the feel-good, family-friendly, interactive show. Not only is the concert set in a traditional Irish pub, the set includes a working bar. And yes, you might just find yourself invited to join the lads on stage!
From their original performance, The Choir of Man has gone on to perform three sell-out seasons, had two residencies at Sydney Opera House, a European tour, and is now on its second US national tour. Tom Brandon, a member of the original group, remarked, “The show is also on two Norwegian Cruise Line ships and is the highest-rated show. The Choir of Man started with nine guys, but there are now multiple casts performing around the world. Three of the original cast members will be in Joplin!”
Those original cast members on their second US tour include Irish man Tom, Welsh man Pete and English man Mark. English men Danny, Ali, Matt, Dickie and Jordan round out the group and are performing in the US for the first time.
The Choir of Man, which features some of the best voices in the UK, has won numerous awards around the world. Tom told us, “The only UK performances we’ve done have been at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where we have sold out and been awarded multiple five-star reviews each year, but the show has won awards everywhere it’s been, taking the award of ‘Pick of the Fringe,’ awarded to the overall best show at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia, the world’s second-biggest Fringe festival after Edinburgh.”
For C2C, bringing the 90-minute The Choir of Man show to Joplin is its first venture into musical theater. Emily Frankoski, director of C2C, said, “Our Curtains Up Series provides a variety of different types of performances, and The Choir Of Man will be our first musical/theatrical production. I think it’s safe to say this is going to be the most involved production we have brought to Joplin so far. Joplin Memorial Hall is going to be transformed into everyone’s favorite Irish pub! The beer on stage will be provided by our local brewery partner, Indian Springs Brewing Company of Neosho, Missouri, and will be served by a licensed server. If you have seats up front and get to the auditorium early, you might just find yourself invited to join the men on stage for a pint.”
In addition to the popular songs, which you will recognize, The Choir of Man also works some issues such as men’s health into their performance. After all, this is a pub, where music, conversation and good beer are enjoyed.
The performance is family friendly, and you can feel good about sharing the evening with all ages. Tickets for the performance are $31 for front floor seats and $21 for back floor and mezzanine seats and are available through C2C at http://bit.ly/C2C-Choir-of-Man. Tickets are sold exclusively through Vendini. This is one concert you won’t want to miss! So, leave your worries at the door and join the lads in The Choir of Man at the pub. Cheers!