On Sunday, June 11 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, La Cañada's Towne Singers are joining forces with Geo Valle's Swing City Big Band for a revival of some of the greatest songs of the Swing era.
The event, titled "Swingin' at the Alex," will feature many of the lush ballads and finger-poppin' jive that made the music of the 1940s so contagious. Songs like Glenn Miller's "In The Mood" and "Moonlight Serenade," Duke Ellington's "Satin Doll" and "In A Sentimental Mood" as well the Andrews Sisters' "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön."
The show is being presented in the form of a live radio broadcast from the 1940's, complete with costumes, dancing, and commercial jingles from the Swing Era.
"In the '40s, swing was IT", said Michael Shaughnessy, the Towne Singers' president. "People would tune in to live broadcasts from the Palomar Ballroom here in L.A., the Trianon in Chicago or the Ambassador in New York and imagine themselves being there. We thought it would be fun to re-create that sensation, and the Alex is the perfect place to do it."
The Towne Singers have been entertaining audiences in the local area for nearly two decades. Under the direction of Sean Boulware and consisting of over 100 voices, they pride themselves on injecting theatrical elements into their shows to deliver more than just a conventional choral performance.
"With our close proximity to L.A., we've got a wealth of talent from which to draw," said Shaughnessy. "Many of our members have extensive musical backgrounds, and some even have television and movie credits — for example, one was the national StarSearch champ a number of years ago, and another was a regular on M*A*S*H."
"It's been great fun putting the show together," said Paula Montgomery, the Towne Singers' artistic director. "And since swing music was as much about dancing as it was about the music, we're bringing in some Lindy Hoppers from Pasadena Ballroom Association, the largest swing dancing association in the area. And we plan to pipe swing music into the Alex courtyard starting at 4:30 to really help our audience get In The Mood."
The Alex Theater is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard in Glendale. Parking is available in several nearby lots for just $1 with Alex validation.
Tickets are $27.50 and $22.50 and are available through the Alex box office, either online (www.alextheatre.com) or by calling 243-ALEX (2539). Senior, student, and group discounts are also available.