Rochester, NY – Gibbs Street may start looking like Abbey Road when “the Fab Four” band members of the Classical Mystery Tour “come together” with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in Beatlemania! on Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in the Eastman Theatre. Lead by Beatlemania’s own conductor Martin Herman, this nostalgic program features The Beatles’ most popular tunes, including A Hard Day’s Night, I Saw Her Standing There, Twist and Shout and Yellow Submarine.
The four Beatles look- and sound-alikes, Tony Kishman, Jim Owen, Tom Teeley and Chris Camilleri – as Paul, John, George and Ringo, respectively – will take the Eastman Theatre by storm as they team up with the RPO to perform some of The Beatles’ greatest hits as they were intended: with a combination of rock and classical instruments. Nearly 30 Beatles tunes will be sung, played and performed exactly as they were written. The music in Beatlemania! follows the group from the early 1960’s through the solo years, and will feature flashy costumes and colorful stage lighting. Audiences will hear Penny Lane with the famous solo trumpet, experience the mystery of Eleanor Rigby with the RPO string section, and enjoy the combination of rock and classical influences on the hard edged I Am the Walrus.
Inspired by the Broadway show “Beatlemania,” Classical Mystery Tour has been a hit with both critics and fans since 1996, when it began making appearances with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. The Los Angeles Times called the show “more than just an incredible simulation…the swelling strings and soaring French horn lines gave the live performance a high goose-bump quotient…”
Conductor Martin Herman is an active composer and arranger, and is responsible for most of the orchestral transcriptions heard on the Classical Mystery Tour show. His guest conducting engagements include the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, San Diego, New Jersey, Kansas City, Fort Worth, Virginia, Alabama, Delaware and Omaha symphonies, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra in Prague.
Jim Owen performs as John Lennon on rhythm guitar, piano and vocals. He began studying the piano at age six, taking up the guitar two years later after hearing The Beatles. At 18, he began touring internationally with various productions of Beatlemania. His 1996 idea for a new show with orchestra resulted in Classical Mystery Tour.
Singer-songwriter Tony Kishman performs as Paul McCartney on bass guitar, piano and vocals. In 1979, after playing in several successful rock bands, he toured for six years in both the national and international tours of Beatlemania on bass and guitar.
Thomas P. Teeley has starred as George Harrison in the Broadway production of Beatlemania as well as the film version. His vocal impersonations of numerous other rock icons also have been featured in many television ads as well as other Broadway productions. He has written songs for artists such as Alice Cooper, and has toured the world as singer-guitarist for Joe Jackson, Sophie B. Hawkins and many others.
Chris Camilleri performs as Ringo Starr on drums and vocals. A founding member of the Beatles cover band Liverpool, he began performing at the Beatlefest National Conventions in 1979, an extended engagement which continues to this day. As a member of Beatlemania, he has performed in Singapore, Colombia, Malaysia, China and the Philippines, as well as in tours throughout the United States.
Tickets for these performances begin at $20, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100); in person from the RPO Box Office, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.); and seven days a week at area Wegmans. A convenience fee may apply. Students and senior citizens are entitled to a 20% discount on advance single ticket purchases as well as half-price rush tickets beginning at 10 a.m. on the concert day. The WPOP Series is sponsored by Wegmans.
Celebrating its 85th season in 2007-08, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music. The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community. The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County and the City of Rochester.
Note: Photos and interviews with the performers are available.