Our Cabaret Jazz venue is set to become downright cinematic this month when acclaimed singers Jane Monheit, Jim Caruso and singer/pianist/arranger Billy Stritch bring the luminous HOLLYWOODLAND: Songs From The Silver Screen to Las Vegas.
The trio performs one show Friday, Oct, 23 and two performances Saturday, Oct. 24.
HOLLYWOODLAND is an upbeat and glamorous tribute to the Golden Age of Tinseltown films and their wonderful, timeless soundtracks. Accompanied by Rick Montalbano on drums and Neal Miner on bass, Monheit, Caruso and Stritch will present all-time favorites like “Pennies From Heaven,” “Let’s Misbehave,” “Over The Rainbow,” “If I Only Had A Brain” and “Whistle While You Work.”
Eagerly awaiting HOLLYWOODLAND, Spotlight caught up with the jazzy troupe to learn what they have in store for audiences.
Monheit, who has performed prior at The Smith Center to crowds of fervent fans, says that chemistry is a key toHOLLYWOODLAND’s magic.
“There are so many things that make our HOLLYWOODLAND show fabulous. The songs are absolutely wonderful and the arrangements are fantastic,” said Monheit. “Most of all, though, it’s just such a lovely thing to play a show with good friends. Music is always better when there’s love on stage.”
Caruso, also an alum of The Smith Center, gave us some insight into how the production came together.
“All three of us are movie fans, and a bit obsessed with songs from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s,” Caruso said. “Jane has always been drawn to Judy Garland and the great torch singers. Billy has always loved the swinging standards from the MGM songbook.”
It took considerable artistic effort for the team to pare down three decades of musical greatness into a single evening’s worth of songcraft.
“After we each made a list of about three hundred favorite songs, we edited it down to an appropriate amount. We are pretty sure audiences will be familiar with most of our selections, although we are including a few rare and forgotten gems,” he added.
Stritch, who also has appeared at The Smith Center, points to the artistry his colleagues are bringing to bear inHOLLYWOODLAND.
“No one sells a ballad like Jane. She’s truly one of the greatest singers out there,” said Stritch. “Accompanying her is a joy and I love listening to her every night.”
“Jim has the greatest energy for this material,” he added. “He’s got a bit of Fred Astaire in him anyway and he’s got wonderful humor and ease.”
For devotees of the movie talents of greats like Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, HOLLYWOODLAND will be the best ticket in town.
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