There you have it. Go see it.

There's more to say below. But first:

Since this is my first review in the reborn FreePress, I'll provide you with this disclaimer: I rarely review shows I think I might not like. I usually go with one or more of my daughters, aged 11, 16 and 16 (twins!). And I love all things Irish (except the beer).

That said: back to RIVERDANCE.

The show originally burst on the scene with great faddish acclaim and the draw of a charismatic male superstar whose name---like most faddish superstars---now escapes me. The show was almost entirely filled with the spirited Irish clog dancing that has rightly hypnotized audiences worldwide.

Thursday night's performance (the show runs at the Palace through Sunday, March 2) opened with that same spectacular clog dancing. It has enormous power, and we Eire-philes are always rendered ecstatic by it. The sight of a dozen or two gorgeous musical athletes dancing in loud unison to the pipes, drums and horns is a guaranteed high, and this version of Riverdance does not disappoint.

The first act was dominated by the magical choreography and mystical evocations of the Emerald Isle. For a tiny piece of land this island has somehow exerted an extraordinary influence over world history, and especially that of the United States. It's not just that so many Irish have come here. Somehow Irish music, literature and pathos have an unexplained power matched only by places like Jamaica and Manhattan. Maybe it's the water.

The major exception to the Irish themes of Act I is a lovely Flamenco excursion from Rosa Manzano Jimenez, whose Firedance offers a nice Spanish reprieve from the purely Irish energy.

Act II, however, surprises and delights with a serious international excursion. It opens with an "American wake" that evokes the turn-of-the-century steamers that brought so many refugees from the potato famine and Dublin's crushing poverty to the New World shores. Think the steerage scene in Titanic minus Leo DiCaprio, who should've stayed in Italy.

Then there's a bit of African-American spiritual singing followed by a really exciting ghetto blast from three superb break dancers who wage a very amusing tap war with three of the Irishmen. South Bronx takes on Kilkenny. Lots of fun.

The whole episode serves to remind that too many Irish shows do take themselves a bit too seriously from time to time. All those famines and hard drinking take their toll. I love all the spiritual stuff, but it can't sustain a whole show.

So this incarnation of Riverdance wisely lightens up with some very productive diversity. From the ghetto blasting we go back to more Flamenco from Ms. Jimenez, followed by a wonderful round of Andalusian acrobatics, leading to the inevitable and does-not-disappoint fireworks display of the multicultural finale. Me, I find this stuff so enjoyable and entrancing I just didn't want it to end. If my knees weren't wrecked and I wasn't with my 11-year-old Julie, who would have been permanently mortified, I might've rushed the stage.

But suffice it to say that you don't have to be Irish to love this latest Riverdance. It has spirit, humor, grace and genuine breadth, even without the beer and angst.