Big Band, Swing show coming to Holmes
What do Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra and Benny Goodman have in common?
They were all musical acts who came to prominence during the "big band/swing" era of the 1940s and '50s. And their music is featured in the touring production of "In The Mood," which comes to Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre next Saturday, Nov. 7, for a 7:30 p.m. show.
But it's more than just the music; "In the Mood" also recaptures the look and feel of the swing era, with hair and costumes, sets and choreography all made to appear as authentic as possible.
"It's a theatrical presentation, not just a concert," explains the show's creator and producer, Bud Forrest -- who also performs as part of the show.
"It's not just about World War II, it's all American music and songs (of the era)," he adds.
The show is intended to create the illusion of a band coming to Detroit Lakes to perform during the 1940s.
"In The Mood" features six dancers and singers as well as the 13-member String of Pearls Orchestra. The group also travels with a four-person technical crew, Forrest adds.
Though many in the lakes area may recognize the show from when they made a tour stop in Detroit Lakes four or five years ago, Forrest says, "We change the music regularly. There's lots of new material, along with some songs you'll recognize."
A classically trained pianist, Forrest says, "I've been performing with singers and bands and orchestras all my life."
It was during a stint as the pianist for the United States Air Force's Singing Sergeants that Forrest began developing a show centered around the music of The Andrews Sisters.
"We started off with the three 'sisters' and myself," he recalls. "The next thing you knew we had a nine-piece band."
In 1994-95, Forrest's group became involved with the USO's World War II 50th Anniversary celebration festivities, and began touring.
"We haven't stopped since," he says.
"In The Mood" tours for about 10-12 weeks every spring, and another 6-8 weeks in the fall. The Detroit Lakes performance is the second-to-last show on their fall tour, Forrest says -- the last one being at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.
"We'll pick up (touring) again in January," Forrest says. Though "In The Mood" has previously had tour stops in Canada and Europe, Forrest hopes to expand their audience even further in 2010, with a stop or two in the "land down under" -- Australia.
Though it's not finalized yet, Forrest says, "it's looking very probable."
Tickets for the Nov. 7 show at the Historic Holmes Theatre are $25 for adults, $12.50 for students, with group discounts available through the Holmes Box Office.
For more information, visit the box office in person, between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday; call 218-844-SHOW (7469), or visit the Web site, www.dlccc.org.