WILMINGTON — Soon after a effective two-weekend operate of “The Rocky Horror Show” outside in Innes Park at the Thalian Hall Portico, Opera Home Theatre Firm (OHTC) is continuing its momentum of bringing dwell musical theatre to audiences in require of an-hour-and-45 moment-respite from the genuine planet and all of its 2020 stressors. On Friday and Saturday night time, two prolific pianists and singers, Nygel Robinson and Brian Whitted, will duel it out in a musical revue, “The Piano Adult men.”
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Not to be bewildered with the famed tribute demonstrate to Billy Joel and Elton John, director Ray Kennedy claimed he devised this version of “The Piano Men” precisely for Robinson and Whitted. “Their flexibility is why they have had such terrific careers in NYC, Las Vegas and all above the Usa,” Kennedy claimed.
Although Kennedy’s version does function tracks by Elton John and Billy Joel, it also casts a wider internet of musical stalwarts, together with Stevie Surprise, John Legend, Barry Manilow, Carole King, even Mozart. There will be extra than a dozen songs performed, together with “You’ve Got a Close friend,” “Piano Male,” and “My Cherie Amore.”
“I’d say [that’s] my favored music,” Robinson stated of the Stevie Speculate classic, “because of the wonderful chord variations and the sensation of thriller you get from the track. Will he ever see her once more? Will he close up with her? Tracks like that enable the listener create their own ending to the tale, and I consider that is excellent.”
Robinson is a Wilmington staple in theatre, acquiring brought to everyday living various productions, such as “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Oklahoma” — the latter of which gained him a StarNews Theater Award for his role as Curly. Robinson relocated to the Massive Apple to extend his job but returns to the Cape Panic at times to acquire again the regional stage. Last 12 months he visited to perform in OHTC’s “Five Guys Named Moe.”
Going through Robinson onstage, reverse on one of two newborn grands, will be Whitted. The musical director has an impressive résumé. He’s acknowledged for his operate on regional productions, like “Las Cage aux Folles” and “Dreamgirls,” but has expanded outside of southeastern N.C. to perform with the likes of Roberta Flack, BeBe Winans, Phylicia Rashad, and Brian McKnight, among the other folks.
Robinson and Whitted will be joined by drummer Mitch Hebert and guitarist Galen Hunsucker. Backup singers Sydney Jones, Devon Jones, Sydney Small, Marley Alliah and Bianca Shaw will spherical out the quantities.
“It’s a gigantic collaborative work to place on a display like this, and I obtain that to be so fulfilling,” Robinson explained. “Playing and singing is not an straightforward point. There is a specific strain 1 feels when they are in charge of two features of the musical working experience.”
The revue will break from its live performance structure for the duration of “Uptown Girl,” which will aspect a manner display, and all over again through “Do You Wanna Dance,” when Brooklyn Williams will execute a dance solo.
“Brian Whitted did ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ with Bette Midler in Las Vegas,” Kennedy praised.
“The Piano Men” will operate Friday and Saturday night time at 6:30 p.m. at the Thalian Hall Portico. Tickets are $30 and can be obtained at thalianhall.org.
“These tunes are timeless and people today want to hear them finished properly,” Robinson included. “That by yourself tends to make the work really hard.”
Have arts information? Call Shea Carver at [email protected]