Under the Streetlamp, A Review

A Uniquely Entertaining Performance at the Door Community Auditorium

This performance featured a medley of songs from the 50s and 60s by the incredibly talented former Jersey Boys: Christopher Kale Jones, Michael Ingersoll, Shonn Wiley and Michael Cunio.

The group was founded by Michael Ingersoll, who played of role of Nick Massi (Four Seasons) in Jersey Boys. During the run Ingersoll began the show that became Under the Streetlamp, originally a solo concert in coordination with a Chicagoland not-for-profit performing arts center.

During the performance last Friday, these four gave their Door County audience a fantastic, energetic performance that had most folks tappin’ their feet to the beat.

They played rock and roll hits from The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Drifts, among others. During the course of the show, each of the guys introduced himself, his history, and shared stories from their lives as performers. Audience members were a part of a rare treat as they heard embarrassing stories, touching moments, and funny goof-ups that come from careers in show biz.

The gentleman sitting next to me bobbed his head, tapped his feet, and elbowed his wife delightedly during much of the performance. Some enthusiastic rock and roll lovers got up to dance in front of their seats to such wonderful renditions of their favorite songs.

Some of my personal favorites included the Under the Streetlamp rendition of Moondance, by Van Morrison. As a disclaimer, I love Morrison’s song dearly and was a bit worried. They more than did it justice, however, and I found myself singing along.

Before Michael Cunio sang Etta James’, At Last, he related an experience to the audience which put the song’s meaning in a different light. Cunio used the song to audition for Jersey Boys. He hadn’t even meant to audition, except that he was living with his ex at the time and felt totally miserable. It was the only song he knew by heart. Hearing him sing it, there was a chill in the air and the audience as a unique sadness filled the old romantic tune.

Elvis’ Devil in Disguise, performed by Michael Ingersoll, was all rock and roll and hip swivels, shocking and awing some of the older folks in the front row. Audience members were offered a new perspective on Save the Last Dance for Me, a song written by Doc Pomus. Christopher Kale Jones, who sang the song, explained that Pomus had polio and was married to a Hollywood actress who loved song and dance. He likely wrote the song encouraging her to enjoy herself, but reminding her that she goes home with him at the end of the night.

The songs most definitely delighted the audience and had people tapping and bobbing in their seats. Backed by a full band, these guys brought themselves so fully to each song that it became a sort of original work, a real song and dance experience – perfectly choreographed by Shonn Wiley.

Under the Streetlamp also works with performing arts venues and not-for-profit organizations to raise funds for causes ranging from arts in education to fighting cancer and AIDS.

They are currently touring and preparing for the taping of their live PBS special at the Star Plaza Theatre. For more information visit www.underthestreetlamp.com

To check out the rest of the Door Community Auditorium’s main stage season, visit http://www.dcauditorium.org

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~ by bjordt on July 7, 2011.

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