Stage notes: Barbershop harmony, backstage musical

By Kerry Clawson
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Derbytown Chorus will perform its 66th annual show at 7:30 p.m. April 5 and 6 at Cuyahoga Falls High School. (Handout photo)

The Akron Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society is celebrating some serious longevity — its 66th annual show, the production That’s My Baby at 7:30 p.m. April 5 and 6 at Cuyahoga Falls High School.

The concerts will feature the Derbytown Chorus, made up of Northeast Ohio men who love to sing harmony, as well as the International Gold Medal World Champion quartet Max Q and the 2012 International Medalist quartet Main Street. The a cappella extravaganza’s theme will be fatherhood for the chorus portion of the show, with the fictional setting for That’s My Baby being the waiting room adjacent to the hospital maternity ward.

Local quartets also will perform in the family-oriented show. The chorus will apply four-part harmony to songs by Irving Berlin, Gus Kahn, Walter Donaldson, Dale Evans, Sylvia Fine, Richard Carpenter and more.

International barbershop performer Tom Gentry, a music arranger for more than 40 years, will be master of ceremonies. Cost is $20, $5 for children and students, $15 for groups of 10 or more.

The school is located at 2300 Fourth St., Cuyahoga Falls. For tickets, call 330-690-6158 or see www.derbytownchorus.org. Tickets also may be purchased at the door.

An Afterglow party will be held April 6 in the school cafeteria, including up-close performances and a buffet. Cost is $15.

‘Dreamgirls’ at E.J. Thomas

E.J. Thomas Hall will bring the musical Dreamgirls back in a new, multimedia-driven production for two performances April 9-10. The backstage drama, which E.J. first presented in 1989, tells the story of the up-and-coming girl singing group The Dreams, loosely based on the career of Diana Ross and The Supremes.

The show, winner of six Tony Awards and two Grammy Awards, follows the performers’ triumphs and tribulations in pursuit of fame. Hits by Henry Krieger include And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, One Night Only and Listen.

This tour is led by Broadway director and choreographer Bobby Longbottom with scenery, costumes and lighting by Robin Wagner, William Ivey Long and Ken Billington. Video design, which is prominently used in the storytelling, is by Howard Werner, designer for Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.

Cost is $35-$54. Call 330-972-7570 or 800-745-3000 or see www.ticketmaster.com.

More upcoming events

• Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop (YEPAW) will present encore performances of The Wiz at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 6 at the Akron Civic Theatre, bringing back the lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul that the students presented last year. More than 60 young people will perform.

Cost is $10-$25, or a $50 VIP package that includes a reception with cast members. Call 330-786-9601, 330-253-2488 or 800-745-3000 or see www.akroncivic.com.

• The University of Akron Steel Drum Band will perform with master pannist Ray Holman, calypso singer Keet Styla and 1984 UA percussion alumnus Tom Miller in concert at 8 p.m. April 6 at E.J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill St., Akron. The program will include Caribbean, jazz and classical music.

Cost is $22, $20 for senior citizens and UA faculty, staff, alumni, and parents of UA students; $11 for all students. Call 330-972-7570.

• Greg Cesear of Cesear’s Forum has adapted the play Perhaps, Pericles from the purported collaboration between William Shakespeare and George Wilkins, to be performed April 5 through May 4 at Kennedy’s Down Under, PlayhouseSquare, 1501 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

Actors John Kolibab, Tricia Bestic, Gilgamesh Taggett and Rachel Wolin will ponder the subject and authorship of a Jacobean play through comedic and dramatic interpretations as their characters “battle metaphorical storms in search of identity and inner peace,” Cesear says.

Cesear is exploring the idea that Pericles, Prince of Tyre is believed by scholars to be half written by Shakespeare, with the other half written by a mediocre collaborator, dramatist George Wilkins.

The show will run at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and will include 3 p.m. matinees April 21 and 27. Call 216-241-6000 or see www.playhousesquare.org.

Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or kclawson@thebeaconjournal.com.


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