An unexpected meeting with a well-renowned Irish entertainer in February led to Tim Placher of Joliet booking her for his upcoming Irish-themed show.
Aoife Scott, daughter of Frances Black from the renowned Irish performing family, The Black Family, is one of the performers for at “A Shamrockin’ Good Time ’23″ on March 16, at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet.
Placher said this “very entertaining show” will feature traditional and Irish music to celebrate Irish culture and music, along with an Irish costume content.
“Tim Placher has been an amazing partner with the foundation. And he brings great acts into the theater. So we’re just glad to have him back,” said Kelly Urquidi, spokesperson for the Rialto Square Theatre.
The Rialto Theatre Foundation will offer raffles, a whiskey tasting and Irish entertainment in the rotunda. Pre-show entertainment includes Taylor Trimby playing the Barton Grande organ and dancing from the younger members of the Farrelly-Hughes School Of Irish Dance.
Event proceeds benefit the Rialto Square Theatre Foundation.
Placher said he met Scott at a music conference in early February and liked her music. When he learned Scott was coming to the Chicago area in March, he invited her to be part of “A Shamrockin’ Good Time ‘23″.
By coincidence, Robyn Castle already was planning on performing two songs by The Black Family, Placher said.
“Its very fun to just have this happen at random,” Placher said.
A tradition of collaborative music shows
“A Shamrockin’ Good Time ‘23″ is Placher’s second Irish-themed show and fundraiser for the Rialto Square Theatre Foundation and his fourth show at the Rialto.
Placher also held collaborative music performances at the Rialto in 2019 and 2020 and a collaborative Christmas show at the MAR Theatre in Wilmington in December.
Last summer, Placher hosted a “Porch and Park Music Fest” at the former University of St. Francis Motherhouse (which now houses USF offices) and the porches of three homes in Joliet’s Cathedral of St. Raymond neighborhood.
The Rialto shows are “full circle” opportunities for Placher, who grew up watching movies at the Rialto and later working there as a college intern.
“I really like the fun and the community of putting together these collaborative shows,” Placher said. “They’re sort of like these really fun community one-off projects where we all come together. We all focus on the goal of creating a really entertaining show for the audience, but it’s also fun for us. We come together a few times a year to create these things and then everyone goes and does their own thing. It’s a nice opportunity to pool our talent and resources and common goals every so often through the year.”
Urquidi said shows such as “A Shamrockin’ Good Time ‘23″ remind people that the Rialto is a community center for showcasing local talent as well as a venue for “bringing in big names.”
“People always talk about being at the Rialto for this or for that,” Urquidi said. “Now these people can say, ‘I’ve played at the Rialto.’ And we’re happy we can give them the opportunity.”
— “People always talk about being at the Rialto for this or for that. Now these people can say, ‘I’ve played at the Rialto.’ And we’re happy we can give them the opportunity." Kelly Urquidi, spokesperson for the Rialto Square Theatre
That’s why the fundraising component of Placher’s show is so important, Urquidi feels.
“This is an almost 100-year old-building. She needs a lot of help,” Urquidi said. “The foundation helps us make sure we are able to keep this theater going and have it open for decades to come.”
The following will perform at the “A Shamrockin’ Good Time ‘23:″
Featured performers: “All-Ireland Singing Champion” Gavin Coyle of Aurora, former “Lord Of The Dance” fiddler Anne Hatfield-Martin, and local Irish-music favorites John Condron and Allison Flood
Local performers: Nikki Giblin, Steve Haberichter, Robyn Castle, Dan Dougherty, Scott Kinsella, Chloe Briese, Max Dunne, Joe Nielsen, Samantha Nielsen, Katie Bern-Gordon, Dr. Mark Christensen, Kevin McCammon, Tom Maslowski, JRoss Green, Madeline Williams, Josh Nestor, Ted Slowik, David Francis
Dancers: Representatives from the Farrelly-Hughes School Of Irish Dance, and Jodi Ann Kasky, daughter of Shirley Smith Shirley’s Dance Studio, who has created a dance for a song recently released by Irish singer Karan Casey
Bagpipers: Retired and active members of the Joliet Fire Department
Youth choir: Students from Drauden Point Middle School and Wesmere Elementary School on Joliet’s far west side
Live art: Lewis Achenbach will create paintings in real time during music performances
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: “A Shamrockin’ Good Time ‘23″
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. March 16. Doors open 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet
ETC: Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids. Upgrade adult ticket to $40 for whiskey tasting (seven samples) and charcuterie board. Buy tickets at rialtosquare.com and the theater box office.