Pre –pandemic there were plenty of cultural opportunities to be seen throughout The Villages Entertainment. Whether it be the Savannah Center stage for an Irish Ballad, an Opera musical at The Sharon L. Morse P.A.C., or Latin music at the Town Square for Cinco de Mayo Celebration, there was plenty to choose from before the world turned upside down, forcing curtains to close for a bit.
Now that Entertainment is back in full swing the opportunity to bring back cultural entertainment is more abundant than ever and many are excited to get back to the stage!
Among these performers is Emmet Cahill, a highly trained vocalist and skilled musician. He has a baritone voice and is a principal singer with Irish vocal group Celtic Thunder.
Cahill remains a part of the famous group, with their Youtube channel, “Thunder Tube”, receiving millions of views and over a quarter million subscribers. Within recent years he began carving his way out as a talented solo artist, and been very successful in doing so.
Born in Mullingar in County Westmeath, Cahill took up music from an early age. He started piano lessons when he was just five years old and began voice training at the age of seven. In an interview with Cahill, he spoke on how family was a huge inspiration in his love for music.
“My dad was a piano teacher, my mom a singer so there was always music in the house. We had a family quartet and would travel all across ireland performing as children and through our teen years. My parents remain my greatest inspiration in music, and in life in general. They were a wonderful example for me and encouraged me to work hard at my talents.”
His hard work as a child led him to receive several awards including a scholarship to the high school in Mullingar. While there, he took the opportunity to study various instruments and continue with vocal training and went on to get a degree in Music Performance from the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Although the classical music he studied remains in the roots of his foundation, in an interview with Irish Music Daily, he explains that he enjoys many other genres as well:
“In terms of modern music, I really enjoy folk and country music, but then again you can’t beat a bit of swing and jazz!”
A fun fact about Cahill is that he is also a massive sports fan! He is grateful to have had the chance to perform at top Irish venues singing the Irish National Anthem at rugby games in Aviva Stadium in Dublin and at Croke Park, a Gaelic games stadium in Dublin to nearly 90,000 spectators!
Having been to The Villages to perform in the past, Cahill explains a bit about why performing here is so different than other venues he has performed at,
“ My last performance was in spring 2020 and we had a wonderful time. We had a packed house and everyone sang along with their favorite Irish songs. There is such an affection for Irish music because so many people have the same heritage as myself. The legacy of Irish tenors in America has been ever present in the audiences life so they always make me feel so welcome. My fans from celtic thunder always come to the shows and get everyone excited about the music.”
Don’t miss the opportunity to see this talented artist perform at the Savannah Center on April 24th at 7pm. Selling out at New York’s Carnegie Hall, he is sure to turn heads here in The Villages with his impressive vocals and Irish classics.
Those of you who went to see Disney’s Beauty and The Beast Production at the Savannah Center may have seen DIVAS group leader Sue Schuler in the production cast as Madame de la Grande Bouche, the wardrobe. This classic tale was brought to life with an outstanding wardrobe attire and brilliant choreography to boot.
“…we had many Villagers bring their grandchildren to see the show. It was so cute to see the kids surrounding Belle in the lobby at the Savannah Center after the show..” states Sue.
Many move to The Villages to continue the passions and hobbies that they love, such as performing in theatrics like this one.
For Sue Schuler, immersing herself in her passion is what moved her here.
“I have lived in The Villages since 2009 and have performed with The Villages Musial Theater, KC Productions, Questar, Broadway Bound Players, The Villages Pops Chorus, and many other variety shows that I have produced”
One of the highlights of living in The Villages is that you can make your thoughts, ideas and dreams a reality. For Sue, upon moving here she noticed that there was just something missing from most theatrical performances and decided to establish her own group to change it.
“When I moved to The Villages I noticed that the ensembles in the musical were being cast with separate dancers and singers. I wanted to form a group to teach singers and dancers to do both at the same time. So, I established DIVAS (Dancing In The Villages And Singing) to help some of the ensembles in different musicals to learn this skill.”
Many of the performers that are in the group will be performing in an upcoming Savannah Center show, Just The Way You Are, as well as Sue and Villages iconic singer and performer Clark Barrios.
“The show will have all of the wonderful music from these two iconic performers (Clark Barrios and Sue Schuler) singing Wind Beneath My Wings, You May be Right, The Rose, Uptown Girl, etc…all the songs you remember from the radio.”
This production will also feature special guests, Dance Synergy group. This dance group was started by Sue six years ago for dancers that may still be working full or part time jobs during the day, but still want the opportunity to participate in a dance program.
“Most of the performing dance groups here have their rehearsals during the day, and it isn’t available to those that are still working. I am still working full time myself, and can sympathize with those that want to participate at night.”
This group has rehearsals Monday nights at Canal Street Recreation Center and focuses primarily on contemporary, modern as well as jazz. Sue wants people to know that the group is always looking for new dancers and if anyone is interested they are welcome to come see if Dance Synergy is a fit.
Click herefor The Villages club leader contact information.
When asking Sue what she is most excited about for the upcoming production a combination of the excitement to take the stage once again with performer Clark Barrios and the opportunity to perform here in The Villages. Being the third tribute show that Clark and Sue will do together, this one is a tribute to the music of Bette Midler and Billy Joel.
“I am most excited about getting back on the stage again with Clark, we always have such fun performing together, and we have been waiting a couple years to bring this production to the stage.”
Sue also comments on the availability of the performing arts in The Villages and why she loves performing here.
“The audiences here in The Villages are very receptive. It is also very nice to perform so close to home. I moved here from Metro Detroit… and I did many professional dinner theater shows and wouldn’t get home until almost 1am. We are spoiled to have so many performing venues right here!”
Don’t miss out on the show Just The Way you are at the Savannah Center April 23rd at 7pm. Click here to get your tickets.
You may have seen the smiling painted faces of a few funny fellow strolling around at many of the past Special Events.
Clown Alley #179 has been attending The Villages Special Events for years to bring smiles to all, and has been established as a group far far longer!
When speaking with Clown Alley #179 Member Annemarie, she was excited to share that the group has been together since 1994!
“It was a group who liked to get together and make others smile.”
More than just making others smile, the group has extended their reach outside of The Villages and into the community in tremendous ways.
“We have visited Nursing Homes and Elementary Schools in the area including Wildwood and The Charter School of course…we also go to Orlando once a year to participate in Kids Beating Cancer” Anne Marie states.
Although this funny business seems all laughter and giggles, they don’t clown around when it comes to joining their group! In order to be a part of Clown Alley you must be a certified clown.
That’s right. No average class clown will do!
Luckily, The Villages Enrichment Academy offers classes twice a year the opportunity to take the clown course. Once passing you can present your certification to the group and visit the Club Listing to call group leader Annemarie Prioriello to join the Resident Lifestyle Group.
When speaking with Annemarie she also mentioned the group’s most recent achievement in receiving the Alley of The Year award from The World Clown Association! They will receive the plack this Monday, April 11th from the District Representative.
When asked what her favorite part is about being a clown Annemarie’s response was none other than those who started the foundation of their group,
“We just love making people smile… young and old!”
This group will be strolling at The Blueberry Festival at Brownwood on April 22nd and is sure to carry balloons along with happiness to all.