Live at the Marquee: No Michael Flatley but plenty of high-kicking fun at Lord of the Dance

Let’s call a spade a spade, lads. Michael Flatley IS the Lord of the Dance. This homecoming of the show marks its 20th anniversary. However, the Marquee is sans the star.

Live at the Marquee: No Michael Flatley but plenty of high-kicking fun at Lord of the Dance

Is he playing a dangerous game bowing out now?

Can his show succeed without his own sweat sprinkling the front row? Can the replacements match the twinkling toes of Lord Michael?

Can his proteges carry the spectacle without his special swashbuckling swagger? Will their hair, head and chest varieties, be as mesmerising?

To be fair, Flatley has been making magic on stage for a long time now and he had to bow out at some point.

The honorary Corkonian chose St Patrick’s Day in Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, for his swansong.

Sure, Cork is totally the Las Vegas of Europe, so I can’t help thinking he missed a trick there.

Julia and Donal Mulcahy from Cathedral Road, Cork, aren’t concerned the show will be missing Flatley. Julia saw the show last year, but Donal missed it as he was, funny enough, in Vegas for his 60th. So they both wanted to catch the show together this year.

“Last year was absolutely fantastic. My 11-year-old grand-daughter came with me and she loved it,” says Julia.

It was the first time at a Flatley show for Patsy McEnerys from Glanmire, Cork and at the Marquee. She doesn’t mind that Magic Mike won’t be on stage and just wants to make sure there’ll be room for her to do her own jig.

After a 30minute wait due to a “technical error” we were off.

I can’t help but notice there’s an awful lot of blondes in the show. Katrina O’Donnell from Mayo and Galway girl Nikita Cassidy, two of the high-kicking stars, have been quoted as saying blondes look better on stage because their hair stands out more. As a brunette, it kills me to say it, but it’s true.

At one point, the demure lady dancers rip off their fairy costumes to reveal black sparkly bras, knickers and tights. The sound of every male spine straightening in unison is something to behold.

The lads highstepped on next, alas, not even the ole peaky hats came off them. Boo. It was schmaltzy and snazzy, it was fun, fast, frenetic. It was very entertaining. Flatley may not have been front and centre last night, but you could see his mark on every bit of the show in the Marquee.

Vegas, eat your heart out.

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