For those with a love for classic hits from classic singers and bands, Four by Four - A Tribute to the Legendary Music of The Beach Boys, Beatles, Bee Gees and Motown will be a fitting trip down memory lane.
Direct from Las Vegas, Rocklands Entertainment presents a stellar cast and all kinds of classic songs in a show that has been described as a a must-see, feel-good evening of hits. The show runs Oct. 27th at the Memorial Centre in Red Deer, starting at 7 p.m.
With over 50 hits in this Vegas style review, the stars sing and dance their way through a journey of the music audiences know and love. Yesterday, Stayin’ Alive, Surfin’ USA, Stop In The Name Of Love, Twist and Shout, How Deep Is Your Love, Please Mister Postman, Yellow Submarine and More Than A Woman are just a few of the hits to be featured.
“The show was first conceived about a year ago,” explains Taylor Campbell, one of the four featured in the production. “I think our producers knew it was going to be a really bold undertaking - but they were excited about it. There are a lot of 60s and 70s tribute shows out there, but they really wanted to find something that would really catch people.”
Planning for the show began early this year, with rehearsals kicking off this past spring. Campbell and the others in the cast had been doing ‘Oh What a Night! - A Musical Tribute To Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons’.
“We started rehearsing through April and May and we debuted the show in Las Vegas in May,” he said. The guys rehearsed for four to five hours a day, and it was an enormous - albeit thoroughly enjoyable - undertaking.
“With upwards of 45 to 50 songs and all of them being choreographed - it was quite a lot,” he said with a laugh. Of course, some of the tunes have been shortened - but the show overall offers a complete picture of these three groups and the Motown era of music to be sure.
Meanwhile, the five-week tour through Canada marks the first major exposure of the show.
“This music is incredibly universal, and I think it’s because all of these groups were really kind of ahead of their time. A lot of groups have tried to imitate the sounds of these groups afterwards, but they were all really pioneers of their styles of music.
“We sing maybe 15-plus songs in each section, and people know the words to all of them. It speaks volumes about how amazing these groups are and how they bridge all the different generations as well.”
He also attributes the longevity of these tunes to their ability to remain relatively simple but irresistibly catchy, and that they also tell a specific story. “They hit an emotional chord with the people that grew up with this music.”
Campbell, who was born and raised in Las Vegas, has been on stage since he was a child. His desire to become a well-rounded artist led him to attend high school at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts as a theatre major where he performed in many plays and musicals. “I certainly knew I enjoyed entertaining people. But at an early age, it wasn’t necessarily performing in the sense as a typical Vegas performer. It was more an interest in theatre - musical theatre in particular. I had a huge interest in playing a character and telling a story and not necessarily just singing.”
Those early performances got him hooked.
“I remember it being so exhilarating. I just forgot about being nervous and really enjoyed it. Ever since then, I’d be doing three to four shows a year.”
He later attended college at the University of Evansville in Indiana where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre. At this program, he was able to further grow his interests in the theatre world and be a part of some amazing productions.
He then studied in England where he also took Shakespeare classes. In 2008 Campbell was also nominated for the prestigious Irene Ryan Award for his portrayal of Otto in Grand Hotel.
Some of his other credits include Jekyll/Hyde in Jekyll and Hyde, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Marius in Les Miserables, Antony in Sweeney Todd and Dean in All Shook Up.
“A lot of people might say, ‘Well, I saw Oh What a Night, and this is probably more of just the same’. But I would suggest people come and give it a shot - it’s a very similar style in the format of it, but it’s kind of like ‘Oh What a Night’ on steroids,” he explained. “There is so much more variety, and it’s so high energy and the choreography is more complicated. It’s a two-hour show, but I feel like it goes by in a flash because it moves so well. Once you get a taste of one great group, it moves on to the next.”
Tickets are available at the Black Knight Ticket Centre by calling 403-755-6626 or 1-800-661-8793. You can also check out www.bkticketcentre.ca.