Saluting American Popular Music During the Wartime Years
Musical Director/piano accompanist Carolyn Wehner
At the Skokie Theatre Music Foundation
Patriotic, nicely sung tribute to American war vets a winner!
Using a well played piano (Carolyn Wehner) and the deft work from Joel Kopischke, Rachel Renee, Matt Richardson, Jeanne Scherkback became a songfest of wartime tunes. From George M. Cohan’s “Over There” and “Yankee Doodle” to Irving Berlin’s “Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning,” we heard the excellent voices from the cast as they pay homage to our vets.
The 80 minute revue give each of the 4 singers their place to shine and pianist/singer Carolyn Wehner adds music and a fine voice to the show. World War II is well represented in boogie-woogie, swing and stirring ballads and nice harmonic pop tunes from the big band era.
After the intermission, the Korean War is depicted in songs like “Mr. Sandman’ while Vietnam has Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fare” and Peter Seeger’s “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?” The Iraq war features the tune “From a Distance” made popular by Bette Midler.
Voice of America is a nicely sung tribute that tries to cover too many eras but seems to please the audience, especially in the rousing Military Salute to each branch of our armed forces. The patriots win the evening.
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