Athenry Millennium Musical Society

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Between the late 1940s and the early 1950s, the “Athenry Choral Society” produced and staged such musicals as “H.M.S. Pinafore”, “The Mikado”, “The Gondoliers”, “Trial by Jury”, “The Lily of Killarney” and “The Maid of the Mountains”, as well as numerous variety shows.

More recently a number of people had been toying with the idea of forming a musical society in Athenry.  A meeting of all those interested was held at “Dobbyn and Coffey’s” on the 21st April 1999.

The response was so positive that “The Athenry Millennium Musical Society” was formed on that night with a view to staging a musical to celebrate the year 2000.  The following officers were elected; Chairperson: Marie Gardner, Asst.  Chairperson: Jimmy Reilly, Secretary: Margaret Seery, Treasurer: Kevin O’ Donaghue, P.R.O: Ann Zonenblick and also the following committee members: Leo Coffey, Eileen O’Donaghue, Eilish O’Neill, Cyril O’Neill and Charles Taylor.

Two very successful and highly enjoyable fund-raising dances were held in Dobbyn & Coffeys on the 28th May and the 16th of August; “Twilight” and “Jamboree” supplied the music respectively.

Subsequently, Philip Short was contracted as musical director, with his wife Paula as producer and choreographer.  Following discussions with Philip it was decided that the “Athenry Millennium Musical Society” would stage “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Presentation College Gymnasium on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th March 2000.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is set near the village of Anatevka, Russia in 1905.  It portrays the resilience of a Jewish family under the oppressive and prejudicial Czarist regime of that time, and consequently, how such oppression and religious prejudice may be overcome through family, community spirit, wit and humour.  The memorable music is by Gerry Bock (“If 1 were A Rich Man” etc,), with Lyrics by Sheldon Harrick.

Auditions for the show have already been held and the following parts have been cast by Philip Short:

Tevye:   Pat Naughton, Golda: Colette Morrissey, Yente: Patricia Dempsey,

Tzeital:  Laura Noone, Motel: Colm McGIouchlan, Hodel: Bláithin Walshe, Perchik: Terry Nolan, Chava: Miriam Higgins, Fyedka: Shane Coyne, Lazar Wolfe: Derek Kennedy, Constable: John Creaven, Mendel: Brian Hanley, Grandma: Claire Parr, Fruma Sara: Maeve Kilkelly, Rabbi: Kevin O’Donoghue, Nachun the Beggar: Frank Curran, Shprintze: Thora Duane, Bielke: Ciara Costello.

Besides the above, there is also a large chorus male and female of all ages and although rehearsals have begun, there are still vacancies to be filled.  Any other help, such as for back stage, front-of-house, make-up etc., will be welcomed as the society is anxious to have as many people as possible involved.

The Athenry Millennium Musical Society is affiliated to the “Association of Irish Musical Societies” (A.LM.S.)

We look forward to your support.

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About this record

Written by To be confirmed!

Published here 22 Apr 2023 and originally published Christmas 1999

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