Calling all fans of Stevie Nicks to The Legacy Theatre this weekend for the show you've had "Dreams" of ever since "Rhiannon" avoided a "Landslide" by hanging out with a "White-Winged Dove," just to name drop a few of Nicks' greatest hits. Titled Sisters of the Moon and designated as a reading of the Stevie Nicks songbook, the program sets seven women of varying ages from 19 to closer to Ms. Nicks' current age (she was born in 1948), performing nearly 30 Stevie songs with a live band. Developed in-house at the theater, the presentation delivers all the expected platinum hits while digging deep into the vaults of the extensive catalog created by this celebrated music artist.
According to Scott Richardson, founder and executive director of the Legacy, the concept first surfaced back in April of 2023, when singer and actor Lori Ann McCabe (Always, Patsy Cline, Mamma Mia!) presented her "Linda Ronstadt Songbook" concert at the theater and lighting director Luke Becker mused about doing a similar Stevie Nicks show. Everyone involved agreed what a fine idea it was, so Richardson and McCabe began the work of setting the stage by inviting Stevie-styled singers involved in our community theaters and choosing what songs to perform. Rehearsals began around Thanksgiving of 2023 and worked their way through holiday schedules, then began in earnest a few weeks ago.
McCabe said they "consulted with lifelong Stevie fans and concertgoers" in the area to see what songs would be best to perform and ended up with "a broad spectrum" spanning Nicks' career, which is an extraordinary one when you take a good long look at it. She is the only woman inducted twice into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist), has notched some 65 million in record sales in the U.S. alone and is listed as one of the "100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time" by Rolling Stone magazine. She's recorded duets with Tom Petty, Don Henley and Kenny Loggins, performed on stage with countless major acts and inspired generations of female singers, including The Dixie Chicks, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. She remains relevant and resourceful, through continued nationally touring (her 2024 tour begins in February and she'll be at Soldier Field in Chicago June 21) and recently releasing recorded music (her career-spanning, retrospective box set came out in 2023).
Richardson remarked how with the age variances of the performers, they could then present different eras of Nicks' career and commented on how the singers, now forever known in theater circles as the "Seven Stevies," bonded and complemented each other, working together while having fun bringing the songs to life. McCabe, who due to scheduling conflicts unfortunately won't be in the show, said that all seven singers will be on stage simultaneously for most of the concert, with a different soloist taking a lead vocal while the others join in to produce the numerous harmonies found in most Stevie Nicks songs.
Even without McCabe being in the program, Richardson gives Lori Ann full credit, saying, "without her there would be no show." She added that with his gifts for creative staging, "there will be a full package" of costuming, lights and "tricks up his sleeve" to accompany the singing of Stevie's songs. Vocalists performing as the "Seven Stevies," include Betsy Buttell, Devin Dinora, Emilie Heckenkamp, Rachel Larison, Erica Metzger, Ellen Tuttle and Cynda Wrightsman. With her extensive experience in area theater, McCabe offered the observation that to her these women ranged from "lifelong friends" to "kids who she watched grow up in theater" as well as a few others in between.
No Stevie Nicks concert would be complete without a "rocking band" and this group consists of theater veterans who perform with local combos as well, including Cory Brown, Blake Martin, Michael Sullivan, Gary Davis and Mary E. Myers. Considering the range of Nicks' material and the caliber of musicians doing those original recordings, expect these players to be having some fun learning parts and performing the music.
McCabe added that the show will be "jammin' in and jammin' out," as tribute will definitely and gloriously be paid to one of the most popular and enduring music artists of the last 50 years by these area performers set to bring the songs of Stevie Nicks to the stage.
Times and tickets
Sisters of the Moon: The Stevie Nicks Songbook, runs Jan. 26, 27 and 28, with the Friday and Saturday shows at 7 p.m. and the Sunday show at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and online at www.atthelegacy.com or $30 day of show at the Legacy Theatre (101 East Lawrence Avenue. 217-528-9760) box office.
Tom Irwin is a Springfield singer-songwriter and musician who was lucky enough to see Stevie Nicks perform with Fleetwood Mac in Superjam '76 held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis June 29, 1976, but he doesn't remember a whole lot of it.