Category: Archive

New & Noteworthy: Puffy found the Brothers kinda roughy

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

Rapper Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs is in Ireland this week to perform at Dublin’s Point Theater. The rap star, who’s been making headlines all over the world since being charged with gun possession in New York last Christmas, plans to forget his troubles and "party like hell" in the Emerald Isle.

"I got permission from the courts to go on tour," he told the Sunday World. The gregarious star says that he plans to spend lots of time socializing in Ireland.

"I’m a people person, and I’ll be out on the streets meeting the people," he said. "I’m not going to shut myself away."

Puffy loves Ireland, he says.

"I loved it here the last time," he said, referring to his trip to the MTV Europe awards last fall. "I’ve never had a bond with any other outside country like the bond I have with Ireland."

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Of course, part of that closeness might be due to Puffy’s early interaction with Irish role models – the Marist Brothers at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx, where he attended high school.

"A lot of the brothers were Irish guys," he recalled. "I got beaten, as I was always a bit mischievous and having fun."

Puffy’s who got his nickname in high school from his habit of puffing up his chest to make himself appear bigger during sports, is quick to add that the brothers gave him a good education and that he was "always happy to learn." And the Brothers obviously taught him well – the rap mogul is worth about a quarter of a billion dollars.

PBS makes change of a ‘tenor’ in new special

As we’re sure you’ll all remember, we predicted last year that the lineup of the original Irish Tenors group would change. Well, lo and behold, it has: Canadian John McDermott now appears with original members Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan as a special guest, and his regular slot has been filled by Cork-born singer Finbar Wright. Coincidence? (Cue the spooky music!) We think not!

Actually, don’t start calling us for Lotto numbers just yet. The official story that we’ve heard is that McDermott was forced to bow out of the new PBS special, "The Irish Tenors: Live from Belfast" due to the death of his mother. Producers tapped the well-known and popular Wright to take his place, and the result is a lovely blending of styles and a brand-new lineup of Irish standards.

The song list includes a Percy French medley – "Phil the Fluter’s Ball," "Come Back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff" and "Are Ye Right There, Michael?" – and Dublin’s unofficial anthem, "Molly Malone." We’ve only seen bits and pieces of the concert so far, but what we’ve seen is fabulous. Finbar’s performance of "Isle of Inisfree" could wring tears from a statue.

The show will be a cornerstone of PBS (most notably WLIW-Channel 21’s) March programming lineup, so check you TV listings for times.

For those of you who want to see them in person, the tenors will be appearing in concert on March 14 at the Continental Airlines Arena, and on March 17 at Nassau Coliseum. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, at (212) 307-7171 and (201) 507-8900, or via Ticketmaster, online at www.ticketmaster.com.

By the way, if you’re one of those people who just can’t get enough tenor music this season (and you know who you are, Mom) you’re in luck. Irish icon Frank Patterson, considered one of Ireland’s greatest living tenors, has a new TV special that will be shown during the St. Patrick’s Day season (check local listings).

"Frank Patterson: God Bless America" features Patterson at his best, singing Irish standards "Grace," "Rose of Tralee," and "Mother Mo Chroi," as well as the contemporary hit "Music of the Night" from "Phantom of the Opera."

Of course, for those of us who like a bit of healthy competition, it’ll be fun to compare Patterson’s versions of "Ireland Mother Ireland" and "Danny Boy" with those of the rival Irish Tenors, who perform the same songs in their new special. But relax: there’s plenty of room in this here town for passel o’ tenors. Just as long as y’all keep singin’ so purty.

Briefings St. Paddy’s Music JAM

We’ve just heard, on really good authority, that Irish singing star Paul Brady will be at Arlene Grocery on March 16 at around 10 p.m., shooting part of the video for his new single "The Long Goodbye" off his exciting new album. "Oh, What a World." His appearance is part of the St. Paddy’s Music JAM, which continues all week at Arlene Grocery (March 13-18) with other special performances like Kila on the 14th. . . .

The History Channel, which we watch more than often than MTV these days (are we getting old?) is rolling out some terrific Irish-themed programming on St. Patrick’s Day. The shows include "Perspectives: Eamonn deValera" at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., "A Short History of Ireland" at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., "The Irish in America" at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., and "Celebrating the Green: The History of St. Patrick’s Day" at 8 p.m. If you’ll be out that day (we hear there’s a little parade on Fifth Avenue), be sure to set your VCR.

Shopaholics looking for their Irish fix this season will no doubt tune in to home shopping powerhouse QVC for their 24-hour marathon St. Patrick’s Day programming session, which starts at midnight on March 17. The show’s lots of fun (although our charge card is usually smoking by the time it’s over) but the best part is the Irish singalong at the end. (The channel’s last Irish show, in September, ended with everyone singing "The Rose of Tralee," and trust us – the tenors have nothing to worry about.)


The Irish Arts Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary in style on March 24. Special guests Frank McCourt, Malachy McCourt, Colin Quinn, Jim Sheridan and Terry George will be on hand to pay tribute to the IAC’s longevity and impressive track record at the Silver anniversary part, which will be held at John Jay Theater, 10th Avenue and 58th Street, NYC. Tickets range from $50-$250, depending on whether you want to attend the champagne reception or just enjoy the show. For information, call the IAC at (212) 757-3318, ext. 203.

Radio City becomes ‘Dangerous Ground’

Hear the beat of dancing feet? Well, we all know that New York is Irish dancing central this week, with not just one, but two major Irish dance shows in town for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities: "Riverdance On Broadway" at the Gershwin Theater and "Dancing on Dangerous Ground," which opens tonight at Radio City Music Hall.

"Dangerous Ground" stars "Riverdance" stars Jean Butler and Colin Dunne (who donned the blue satin shirt when a certain Mr. Flatley parted company with the show in London). Butler and Dunne have come up with an original show, a poignant love story based upon the legend of Diarmuid and Grainne.

Butler and Dunne choreographed the show, which features a sexy twist on Irish dancing, interwoven with ballet, flamenco and modern dance. The show is directed by Lindsay Dolan, whose credits include "La Vie Parisienne" and "By George, It’s Gershwin." Sets are by Tim Hartley, and costumes by Frank Gardiner, who has worked on films such as "Elizabeth" and "Evita."

The music was written by noted Irish composer and musician Seamus Egan of the band Solas. Egan, in addition to his long list of composing credits for movies such as "Dead Man Walking," is also an old friend of Butler’s – she confided to us over dinner a few weeks ago that she attended her high school prom with Seamus.

"Dancing on Dangerous Ground" opens tonight and runs through March 12 at Radio City Music Hall. Tickets are available through the box office and through TicketMaster (212) 307-7171.

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