Fans of classic rock will this weekend find two very different homages to legendary bands first made famous in the 1960s. The Falmouth Theatre Guild opens its season with a return visit from a Beatles tribute band, while the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis closes out its 2022 summer with the return of a tribute show to Led Zeppelin.
And offering a very different type of show for music-lovers, the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra will reflect on recent history, particularly the pandemic and 9/11, through contemporary music. For some choices for a concert experience this weekend, take a look:
‘A Beatles Experience’
The Falmouth show is “A Day in the Life: A Beatles Experience,” a multimedia and multi-sensory celebration of the famed English band, playing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Highfield Theater, 58 Highfield Drive.
The “touring theatrical concert,” a collaboration between the guild and A Day in the Life LLC, uses more than 30 songs — including some never performed live — to cover the Beatles groundbreaking career, from “The Ed Sullivan Show” to “Abbey Road,” according to a description of the show. There will be multiple costume changes and video backdrops that include footage of the original band that create “a full, immersive concert experience.”
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Co-producer Rob Bowerman noted in a press release that guild leaders immediately agreed to stage the show again when approached by creator/producer Morgan Cates because of the response to sold-out performances in 2017 and 2019. “What better way to launch our season than bringing our community together for this incredible journey?” Bowerman asked.
Cates, who portrays Paul McCartney, has been an entertainment administrator and working artist for more than a decade and is currently guest experience manager for Broadway in Boston. He has managed concert tours around North America and Europe; performed in venues that include Lincoln Center for the Arts in New York City and Ely Cathedral in England; and shared the stage with Kenny Rogers, members of the McCartney family, and former first lady Michelle Obama.
Tickets: $35, $30 for age 62+ and $25 for under age 18; https://falmouththeatreguild.org.
‘Get the Led Out’
At the Cape Cod Melody Tent, the tribute to Led Zeppelin is called “An Evening to Get the Led Out,” playing at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 on the revolving stage at 51 Main St., Hyannis.
The description of the show says the Philadelphia-based group of six veteran performers and multi-instrumentalists has “captured the essence of the recorded music of Led Zeppelin and brought it to the concert stage.” The show focuses largely on the early years, and includes “studio overdubs” that the band itself never performed, according to information from the Tent. “Deeper cuts” will be included, as will an acoustic set with favorites such as “Tangerine” and “Hey Hey What Can I Do.”
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Lead vocalist/harmonica player Paul Sinclair called the band’s music “timeless,” according to information on the show. Members of “Led Zeppelin are sort of the classical composers of the rock era,” he said. “I believe 100 years from now, they will be looked at as the Back or Beethoven of our time.”
Other musicians involved are Paul Hammond and Jimmy Marchiano on electric and acoustic guitars, with Hammond also playing mandolin and theremin and Marchiano also contributing vocals; Andrew Lipke on keyboards, guitar, vocals and percussion; Adam Ferraioli on drums and percussion; Phil D’Agostino on bass; and Eddie Kurek on bass and vocals.
Tickets and information: https://melodytent.org/.
Orchestra’s ‘Quiet City’
“Quiet City,” the title and central piece of the opening concert for the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra’s fifth season, was originally written by American composer Aaron Copland for a 1939 Irwin Shaw play by that name.
The play wasn’t a success, but the music lived on with orchestras, according to information from the CCCO, particularly featuring trumpet, English horn and strings.
In announcing the inclusion of the piece, founding music director and conductor Matthew Scinto describes the piece as “music filled with nostalgia and an eagerness to return to a past life.”
Sound familiar? It did to Scinto and orchestra members, too.
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The Copland piece “pulls the entire program together as it deals with a story of loss and of personal discovery for the main character of the play it was composed for,” Scinto says by email. “I found parallels between this and the tragedy of 9/11, as well as the difficulty that artists faced throughout the pandemic. The main character often hears the sound of a trumpet, which is of his deceased brother, as a calling that he should have pursued a career as an artist as opposed to his work as a salesman. This connection was quite poignant to me.”
“Quiet City” —which kicks off the Harwich Port-based orchestra’s five-concert season — will be performed to 5 p.m. Sept. 11 — connecting the date to the concert content — at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 533 Route 28, Harwich Port. Season Five will also includes three small ensemble performances, launching the orchestra’s new Sandbar Chamber Series.
“Quiet City” will feature Kyle Spraker, principal trumpet and education programs manager for the Cape Symphony, and Mary O’Keefe on English horn for the Copland piece. In a career that has taken him around the world, Spraker has performed with orchestras, chamber ensembles, big bands, rock bands, and recording sessions for movies and video games.
O’Keefe is a Boston freelance musician dedicated to exploring the intersection of music and social justice through benefit concerts and other endeavors. She has played with Boston Modern Opera Project, A Far Cry, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus pro Musica, and, in 2021, was one of the winners of the Borromeo Quartet Guest Artist Award.
Also on the orchestra’s Sept. 11 program is “Source Code” by composer/violinist/educator Jessie Montgomery, and “Introduction and Allegro” by Edward Elgar.
Montgomery’s first sketches of “Source Code,” CCCO information says, began as transcriptions of imagery from African American artists prominent during the peak of the Civil Rights era in the United States. Montgomery’s re-interpretation of gestures, sentences, and musical syntax are a nod to choreographer Alvin Ailey, poets Langston Hughes and Rita Dove, and jazz songstress Ella Fitzgerald, resulting in what the orchestra describes as “a black spiritual that crosses the landscape.”
The connection of those inspirations to New York City “struck out at me,” Scinto says by email, “and seemed to be a way to honor the music and art of African-Americans which is so vital to jazz, literature, and poetry that was born out of the city.”
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Inclusion of the Elgar piece ties in nicely with the orchestra finally being back for a regular season. “I find the music of Elgar to be full of life, energy, and hope for a new era coming out of the pandemic,” Scinto says. “The themes throughout were inspired by singing he heard around the English countryside, and I find it to be quite reflective in nature.”
Tickets to “Quiet City” are $35, with students and children admitted free. Information and reservations: capecodchamberorchestra.org, 508-432-1668; tickets are also available at the door by cash or credit card.
Contact Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @KathiSDCCT.
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