“In The Mood,” a Big Band Blast at the Alex Theatre
The Alex Theatre, performing arts and entertainment center in Glendale, presented the outstanding and patriotic “In The Mood,” big band musical revue over Presidents Weekend to a packed house.
It was a blast featuring the show’s creator and producer Bud Forrest leading the 13-piece String of Pearls Orchestra, along with six terrific big band singers and swing dancers, all of whom took turns grabbing the spotlight. The 1930s and ’40s music was familiar to everyone in the toe-tapping audience. They couldn’t dance in the aisles, but they sure wanted to. The show opened with the “St. Louis Blues” march, which had the brass section trooping down the aisles to the stage to join Forrest at the piano, and the outstanding rhythm section, Tom Dupin on drums and Andy Hainz on bass. All the saxophone, trombone, and trumpet players are seasoned musicians who enjoyed playing for the appreciative crowd. They follow in the footsteps of Glenn Miller, the Dorseys, Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and other top band greats.
The highlights were the dance numbers, Andrews Sisters and Mills Brothers medleys, and about 50 unforgettable tunes, from snappy “Tuxedo Junction” to the melodic “Moonlight Serenade.” Oh, how the audience reminisced. But the finest moment was the tribute to the Armed Forces saluting the Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Army, and asking veterans to stand up and be recognized when the band played their theme. Proud men and women stood, some smiled, and some had tears in their eyes. The music brought back memories from the big band era and beyond.
After about two hours of ultra-entertaining song and dance with a lot of brass the show ended with a reprise of “In The Mood” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” which sent the crowd home humming and wishing for more.
Presented by Art Beat Shows, “In The Mood” is touring California and across the U.S., for information go to artbeatshows.org, 800-624-BAND, or inthemoodlive.com.