The invitation is always open to enjoy the arts scene in town and specifically the music makings as reported here and in the calendar listings. Isn’t it wonderful we’ve gotten to the point that you just can’t see it all every weekend? I think that’s the way it should be and am pleased that it is.
One of the most beautiful beacons of our productive scene must be musical productions at The Legacy Theater. The good people there put heart and soul and sweat and tears into everything they do, and the show opening this weekend is no exception. Granted the rights to present the regional premiere of Bright Star, a successful Broadway musical written and composed by those famously famous folks, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, the show capitalizes on Martin’s love of bluegrass music, as well as Brickell’s skill as a lyrical songwriter. Legacy owner and operator Scott Richardson asked New York-based actor/director/choreographer Chaz Wolcott to return to town (he also choreographed the theater’s production of Newsies a few years ago) as a guest director/choreographer for Bright Star. I don’t want to give away anything, but expect wonderful music, a story for the ages and production values equal to the best that’s out there. Bright Star starts this Friday and runs weekends through Oct. 20. There might be some banjo playing in it. Wink, wink.
If you’re looking for a retro concert-going experience this weekend, original Southern rockers Black Oak Arkansas pop into the Curve Inn for a Sunday evening performance. For those of you (like me) who knew of BOA back in the day, perhaps you experienced them before in our fair city. Ric Major, our award-winning soundman around town and now Curve Inn house stage guy, says they played Springfield a total of eight times, including at the Illinois Building (1972), The Armory (‘73), Griffin Gym (‘74), Nelson Center (‘75), Tradewinds (‘84), The Mansion (‘86), The Coliseum (‘96) and Quaker Steak & Lube (2014).
I remember hearing about the Griffin High School gym gig as a particularly exciting time for those in charge of the premises. Definitely a controversial band, generally going shirtless, sporting hair to their waists, partying and playing in sync, as well as performing other normal rock band functions of the times, they really were quite an attraction. The band still puts on an incredible show and always includes a female singer to taunt and play off the Jim Dandy charm. Back in the day it was Ruby Starr who helped sing “go, Jim Dandy, go” on the band’s highest charting hit, the old novelty song, “Jim Dandy to the Rescue” (there’s a YouTube video out there), which, by the way, was recommended to them by none other than a popular singer named Elvis Presley. Now the woman doing the part is played by Sammy B. Seauphine (sound it out), a Memphis performer who also helps with the bookings and management of the group. The band released a new album this year called Underdog Heroes and hit the road to do their thing, so why not go find out all about When Electricity Came to Arkansas and other classic songs of BOA.
Our first Oktoberfest in October happens in front of Buzz Bomb on Adams Street this Saturday starting at 2 p.m. You’ll find guest breweries, plus BBBC-brewed German beers, fun times with Hammerchlagen and afternoon music by the Bolzen Beer Band, along with evening tunes from North by North, NIL8 and Twistin’ Tarantulas.
Please take a look at our Live Music listings for other cool kid happenings around town this week.