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Show series begins Thursday with Broadway tunes
• Single tickets are $25
• Two packages are also available: Six shows for $132 and eight shows for $175
Tickets are available at:
• Yuma Art Center (373-5202)
• Yuma Parks and Recreation (373-5243)
• Yuma Civic Center (373-5040)
There's a concert coming to the Historic Yuma Theatre and a certain homegrown, miniature version of Johnny Cash couldn't be happier.
The series is the eight shows being brought to town by Lonely Street Productions. That young fan is 8-year-old Ethan Wyer, a Yuma youngster who saw almost every concert in the series last year and proudly possesses a season ticket for this year's round of music. Ethan's mom says that all it took was for Ethan to see Lonely Street's star performer Robert Shaw appear as Johnny Cash — and Ethan was hooked.
“There are nearly not enough words to describe the quality of the Robert Shaw and the Lonely Street Band concerts,” raved Ethan's mother, Kathy Wyer. “The one word we would have to use to summarize the shows is ‘outstanding.'”
The Lonely Street series kicks off Thursday with “Best of Broadway.” The series then continues through March with everything from tributes to the music of Bobby Darin to a Christmas concert celebrating the sounds of Elvis.
“Best of Broadway” steps into the spotlight at 7 p.m. Thursday. See the inset box for ticket prices. The next show will be “Blue Christmas” on Dec. 5.
Lonely Street brought its shows to the Historic Yuma Theatre for the first time last year. But local event organizers say it just took one season for the series to earn loads of fans just like Ethan.
“The series of shows are performed on such a high professional level,” said Corinna Currier, an events specialist with the city of Yuma. “The shows are not a ‘one-night gig.' Lonely Street Productions tours with each show throughout Arizona, building up quite a following.”
Currier lauded Robert Shaw, Lonely Street's executive producer and star performer who appears in most of series' shows.
“From the setup on the stage, throughout the performance, up to greeting patrons as they leave the theater, he truly performs for his audience,” Currier said. “He is definitely a people person and enjoys interacting with his audience on and off stage.”
Ethan says this about Shaw: “I like when he tells the stories before every song he sings. He is SO smart and he's a great singer!”
His mother added: “After each show, all of the band members and vocalists greet the audience, sign autographs and take photographs with each and every person who wants to stop and get to know them.
“Robert always acknowledges Ethan by calling his name and speaking directly to him. We have always had the same six seats, and during each performance Robert makes sure and acknowledges Ethan with a wink and nod of his head, as Ethan sits right up and claps and sings the entire concert.”
The Yuma mother added that quite a few people have remarked about Ethan being so young to have such a taste for music that's so seasoned. But she certainly has an answer for those folks — and it's a good one.
“If the citizens of Yuma will come and take their love for music with the innocent love from a child's point of view, they will realize that Robert Shaw and the Lonely Street shows are for people ages 3 to 110,” Kathy Wyer said, “and everyone will sit back and relax, clap and sing for hours of entertainment.”
Darin Fenger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6860.
Note: All shows are 7 p.m. at the Historic Yuma Theatre, except “Piano Pumpin' — Rock n' Roll Revue!” That show is set for 2 p.m.
Thursday: “The Best of Broadway”
The lights go down…the curtain comes up … and the Best of Broadway comes to life right there on stage. Four talented vocalists — Walter Belcher (seen in last season's “Salute to the Rat Pack”), Sheila Coyle, Erin Helm and Kit Runge — salute the music of the Great White Way. This concert production highlights Broadway's greatest hits with a mix of old and new, from “Oklahoma” and “West Side Story” to modern classics, including “Les Miserables” and favorites from Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Dec. 5: “Blue Christmas — A Holiday Salute to the King”
Now in its eighth year, Robert Shaw and the Lonely Street Band bring a brand-new version of “Blue Christmas — A Holiday Salute to the King,” a high-energy, theatrical-style yuletide salute to the music of Elvis Presley. In addition to the holiday tunes that Elvis recorded, Robert and the performers from Lonely Street Productions will treat the audience to many great standards of the season.
Jan. 8: “Dream Lover — A Salute to the Music of Bobby Darin”
Moving effortlessly between genres with his smooth vocals, electrifying stage presence and trademark charm, no entertainer in history has defied categorization quite like Bobby Darin. This brand-new concert production starring national touring artist Robert Shaw with a swingin' six-piece band captures Bobby Darin's unique spirit and musical versatility. The show features signature chart-toppers from the early days of “Splish Splash” and “Dream Lover,” to the big-band stylings of “Beyond The Sea” and “Mack The Knife” and into the years headlining New York's famed Copacabana and the showrooms of Las Vegas.
Jan. 29: “Blues and Soul Explosion — A Salute to The Blues Brothers”
Playing to sold-out houses all over the country, this production salutes Chicago's own blues-loving rabble-rousers: The Blues Brothers! You'll be dancing in the aisles to such favorites as “Soul Man,” “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Rubber Biscuit,” “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” and many more.
Feb. 10: “Piano Pumpin' Rock n' Roll Revue!”
Imagine the lightning-fast piano pumpin', rockaboogie playing of Jerry Lee Lewis combined with the raw, powerful vocals of Elvis Presley and you get Ross Martinie Eiler, rock n' roll piano sensation. This high-energy concert production features a large selection of popular hits from the '50s and '60s as Ross and his band of world-class musicians rip through early rock classics like “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin'.”
Feb. 26: “Doo-Wop Divas”
Audience members will fall head-over-heels for these three knockouts as they relive the golden years of doo-wop and early rock and roll. It's hit after chart-topping hit as the girls belt out “It's My Party,” “Leader Of The Pack,” “Mr. Sandman” and more with signature tight harmonies and buckets of charm.
March 12: “Last Stop ... Bakersfield”
In the mid-1950s, there was a new sound sweeping the world of country music. With it's heavy back-beat and stripped-down honky-tonk sound, Bakersfield Country produced a wealth of talent, making stars out of acts like Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and Merle Haggard. The signature sound went on to influence several generations of music, spawning groups such as The Eagles, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Dwight Yoakam.
March 29: “The Best of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis”
In 1946 a handsome Italian crooner was singing his heart out when suddenly a brash young comedian clambered onto the stage. From that moment on, comedy would never be the same! You'll be rolling in the aisles as these two gifted performers re-enact the signature songs, skits and outright hilarity of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in their heyday.
April 13: “FATS: A Salute to Fats Domino”
Pianist/singer Eric-Jan Overbeek, aka Mr. Boogie Woogie, brings his brand-new salute to the music of the legendary Fats Domino to Arizona. Antoine “Fats” Domino was one of the pioneers of Rock & Roll, with chart-topping hits including “Ain't That a Shame,” “I'm Walking” and “Blueberry Hill.” For this exclusive Arizona tour, Mr. Boogie Woogie will bring his 10-piece band from the Netherlands.
Source: Lonely Street Productions