Dover's Schwartz Center for the Arts ends its season on a literal high note April 21 as it presents a tribute to the falsetto-tinged Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
"Let's Hang On," a stage revue that combines four men and two women with a live band, features not only Four Seasons classics such as "Walk Like A Man," "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry," but also songs of that same 1960s' era such as "Be My Baby," "Downtown" and "You Can't Hurry Love."
In conjunction with the performance, there will be a pre-concert talk that begins at 7 p.m. Scholars will discuss the history of rock ‘n roll, pop and doo-wop groups and their music.
A VIP end-of-season celebration will be held after the show. Tickets are $55 for the performance and $75 for the performance and post-concert reception.
The show is the brainchild of producers Bob Schubert and Bill Norman, who double as the production's drummer and musical director, respectively. They created the show about five years ago.
"We saw that type of music was coming into the market the second time around. It was also the same time that (the Broadway show) ‘The Jersey Boys' was hitting it big so we thought it was a great opportunity," Mr. Schubert said.
"We've always loved that music and we pulled together a good core group of people that we've worked with together in the past in other productions and it's all fell into place."
Both Mr. Schubert and Mr. Norman have worked extensively in productions at Florida theme parks and selected many of the performers from those shows.
"These are all people that we have a history with and they are people who really want to be in the show and enjoy doing it tremendously," Mr. Schubert said.
The Four Seasons' songs are performed by Rich Bresenhan, Josh Eleazer, Chris Barletta and Dustin Fisher with other songs of the era sung by Samantha Leigh and Heather Krueger.
"The women do help out with some of the Frankie Valli songs like "Who Loves You" and "December 1963," Mr. Schubert said.
But mainly the women help evoke the sounds of the era.
"Beside the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, there were so many other great songs written during the era that we thought it would be fun to change it up a bit," Mr. Schubert said.
In the winter months, the show is staged mainly in Florida, which works well in hitting the show's main demographic.
"We play to many folks who come down to Florida to escape the cold weather farther north. Many of them enjoy the show so much that they come see it again when it plays in, say, Pennsylvania. Word of mouth really helps for us," Mr. Schubert said.
The success of "Let's Hang On" is simple, he said. It's all about nostalgia.
"I think the show evokes memories of high school or wherever the audience was when they first heard the songs," Mr. Schubert said.
"We always ask in the show, ‘Are you with the same person tonight that you were with when you heard these songs for the first time?' For a lot of the audience, that's the case. The songs were big during really happy points in many of their lives."
Artistry has much to do with it as well.
"There is no getting around the fact that the melodies are so catchy. The falsetto was so unique and the close harmonies are just great," Mr. Schubert said.
For more information or to reserve tickets, call the box office at State and North streets Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (302) 678-5152 or visit www.schwartzcenter.com.
For more on the show, visit www.letshangon.com.
More on the Schwartz
Before "Let's Hang On" rolls into the Schwartz, Sussex County's Clear Space Productions will present the classic Lerner and Loewe music "My Fair Lady" tonight and Saturday at 7 on the Dover stage.
The familiar story of Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins is brought to life in a re-imagined, intimate adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion."
Frequent Clear Space leading lady Erin Williams takes on the role of Eliza Doolittle opposite Delaware Comedy Theatre founder David Warick.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for senior/military, $17 for students and $12 for children 12 and under.
Finally, The Schwartz Center and Comcast are partnering for the annual Comcast Cares Day to support the Joining Forces national initiative to benefit the Fisher House for Families of the Fallen on Dover Air Force Base.
The SCA has been asking for cash donations during each performance of the 10th anniversary season to go toward purchasing supplies to put together care packages for the Fisher House DAFB.
The theater is asking the community to come to the SCA on Saturday, April 21 between 9 a.m. and noon and sign cards that will be distributed to the families of Fisher House DAFB.
Joining Forces is a national initiative organized by first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden that mobilizes all sectors of society to give service members and their families opportunities and support.
The Fisher House is a unique facility among the foundation's other Fisher Houses currently operating worldwide. The house is 8.462 square feet equipped with nine suites that include private, handicapped-accessible bathrooms and common areas that include a multi-cooking station kitchen, large communal dining and family rooms.
It is designed to provide short-term, on-base lodging to families who travel to Dover to witness the dignified transfer of loved ones.
CCR in Dover tonight
Tonight's the night classic rock fans have been waiting for as Creedence Clearwater Revisited plays Dover Downs' Rollins Center at 9 p.m.
As we told you a few weeks ago in an interview with original bassist Stu Cook, CCR will be cranking out classic Creedence Clearwater Revival hits such as "Born on the Bayou," "Fortunate Son" and "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" Drummer Doug "Cosmo" Clifford joins Mr. Cook as the two original members of the band.
Tickets, which are still available, are $35, $45 and $85 and may be purchased by calling VIP Services at 800-711-5882, visiting www.doverdowns.com/entertainment or at the door.
For more information on the band, visit www.creedence-revisited.com.
A number of downtown merchants have accepted the challenge to come up with a decorated window for the Dover Days Window Decorating Competition. Winners will be announced at First Friday, May 4, which coincides with the opening night of Dover Days weekend.
To participate, merchants, eateries and businesses in the downtown district should complete the entry form (there's no charge to participate), and have their businesses decorated by Monday, April 30. Judging will take place on May 2 followed by the announcement of the winners during First Friday, May 4.
The first-place winner will receive $100; second, $50; and third, $25. All winners will receive ribbons to place in their windows for the weekend.
This year marks the 79th anniversary of Dover Days. Merchants, businesses and restaurants are encouraged to trim their storefronts in red, white and blue, or with other Dover Days images such as a flower garden motif, a Colonial theme, tri-corner hats or maypole dancing.
For more information or to obtain a participation form, contact Kent County Tourism at 302-734-1736.
Kotb in Lewes
Lewes' newest fish and chip shop go brit! kicked off the season in style with NBC "Today" morning show host Hoda Kotb cutting the ribbon on April 7.
Ms. Kotb is a loyal customer of go fish! - the sister restaurant also owned by Alison Blyth.
"Alison runs the finest restaurant in the area and we love talking about it on the ‘Today' show," Ms. Kotb said while at the beach with her family for the Easter weekend.
After the ceremony, she shared her thoughts on Twitter: "Congrats to Alison!!! We loved eating @gobrit....Delish!" On Monday, Ms. Kotb showed a picture of Ms. Blyth at the restaurant on her NBC morning show.
go brit! officially opened on March 8 with a fundraiser to benefit The Jefferson School, an organization that Ms. Blyth has supported for years.
The restaurant is at 18388 Del. 1 next to the Atlantic Cellular Verizon store.
Dover's Madison Wright will sing the national anthem at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center prior to Sunday's Philadelphia Soul arena football game against the San Jose Sabercats.
Madison was given the chance after winning the grand prize in October's Sing for a Cause talent competition at the Schwartz Center. The singing contest benefitted the Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity.
Madison won her 13-17 age group and then went on to take the grand prize in the finals of the competition.
At the movies
Opening today at Dover Mall's Carmike 14 is the horror movie "The Cabin in the Woods," the thriller "Lockout" and the return of "The Three Stooges."
On DVD Tuesday is "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol."
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