Again organized by Southern California's Kerry Records, this year's production features "Riverdance" veteran Kevin Horton, "Magic of the Dance" performers Ciaran Maguire and Collette Dunne, the Kerry Dance Troupe and musicians from the Kerry Trad Orchestra.
Horton has been Irish dancing for more than 22 years and has won numerous championships. He joined the cast of "Riverdance" in the summer of 2004 and spent the next six years traveling the world with the show. He went to North America, Japan, China, Korea and Ireland, and performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City for the 10th and 15 anniversary celebrations of "Riverdance." He also made a guest appearance on the TV show "Dancing with the Stars" and performed for the Empress of Japan during a sold-out four-week run in Tokyo.
In between performing, he managed to earn a bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University. He now works at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment talent agency in Beverly Hills.
In a recent e-mail interview, he said he was delighted to continue dancing in the "Irish Christmas" production.
"Very few shows are able to incorporate angelic voices, intricate music orchestration and fast-paced Irish dancing, all intertwined in the telling of a traditional Irish Christmas," he wrote. "This trifecta is what makes 'An Irish Christmas' so special and enjoyable. The response from fans, old and new, has been so overwhelming."
Horton is one of eight dancers in the 19-member cast. Singers, an on-stage band and a narrator, Horton says, all contribute to make the family-friendly production a success.
"It's great to see the cast enjoy performing just as much as the audience enjoys watching," Horton said. "Each night while on stage, I am reminded of my fond memories of touring with 'Riverdance.' It's hard to believe this is a job, because it sure doesn't feel like one!"
The Gallo Center for the Arts never has to worry about selling tickets when the touring "Irish Christmas" show comes to town.
The production, which blends song, dance, storytelling and comedy, usually sells out and in fact has sold out once again in its three performances Saturday and Sunday.
WHAT: An Irish Christmas
WHEN: 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Foster Family Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
TICKETS: Sold out
CALL: (209) 338-2100