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Andy Cooney and multi-talented cast present ‘Forever Irish’

Irish American recording artist and performer Andy Cooney will lead a multi-talented cast of entertainers at “Forever Irish,” a traditional Irish show featuring music, comedy, and dance on March 11 at the next Center Stage performance at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

Cooney—dubbed “Irish America’s Favorite Son” by The New York Times—will perform a number of traditional Irish classics and some of his own hit songs in the performance, a high-energy, multi-dimensional show presented by Lake Cumberland Performing Arts in partnership with The Center.

Cooney has brought together a diverse group of highly talented entertainers on the Irish music scene to present what audiences want to see in a traditional Irish show.

Appearing with Cooney will be a four-piece Irish band, a comedian, a female singer, and five dancers.

“Forever Irish,” set to begin at 7:30 p.m., will showcase the finest in Irish music, comedy, and dance.

Cooney, the featured artist in the show, has been singing Irish music his entire life. One of nine children born into a deep-rooted Irish American family from Long Island, NY, he grew up singing at church and family gatherings.

At 17, Cooney began his professional career entertaining audiences at many of the Irish establishments in the New York area with his singing and piano playing. His talent was recognized on a national stage two years later when he joined well-known Irish bandleader Paddy Noonan on a coast-to-coast tour.

In 1994, Cooney launched a solo recording career, and has not looked back. With a distinct voice and dynamic stage presence, Cooney performs many of the traditional Irish ballads, including one of the crowd’s favorites, “Danny Boy,” as well as his own hit songs. Among them include “The Irish Wedding Song,” “Boston Rose,” and “Daughter of Mine.”

Prior to the Center Stage performance, local musicians Tom Taksa and Larry Buchanan will perform at a free pre-show event from 6-7 p.m. in The Center’s front lobby.

Taksa, who plays the alto sax, and Buchanan, a pianist, combined their talents two years ago to create a light jazz sound. Both are accomplished musicians. Taksa, formerly of California, studied saxophone and is accomplished in jazz improvisation. Buchanan studied piano at Indianapolis Conservatory.

The pre-show event is sponsored by Sonny’s Bar-B-Q and Clear Channel Lake Cumberland.

Sonny’s Bar-B-Q will serve an “optional” catered dinner buffet for pre-show guests. The cost of the meal, which includes pulled pork and smoked turkey sandwiches, Cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, iced tea, and lemonade, is $7 for adults and $3.50 for children.

For more information or to purchase tickets for “Forever Irish,” contact The Center Box Office at 606-677-6000 or email boxoffice@centertech.com. Online tickets may be purchased at www.centertech.com.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports Lake Cumberland Performing Arts with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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