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"Imagine" When Rock & Classical "Come Together"

March 18, 2011 - Phyllis Sigal
When I closed my eyes, I could have sworn that John, Paul, George and Ringo were on stage in front of me.

When I opened my eyes, I had to look real hard to determine that they weren't.

"Classical Mystery Tour" played along with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra at the Capitol Theatre on March 11 to a packed house — the biggest symphony crowd at the Capitol in the past 10 years.

"Classical Mystery Tour" members are not the spitting image of the Fab Four, but each has a resemblance to his respective Beatle ... especially in their "Sergeant Pepper" regalia.

They also play authentic period guitars, such as Rickenbacker electric and Hofner bass.

But the interesting thing, I thought, was that they don't see themselves as "being" The Beatles; they were playing the music of the four legends to pay respect to the genius that created the original foursome.

None of the four are strangers to The Beatles. All four have performed in other shows that feature the music of The Beatles.

And their arrangements pay respect to the "fifth" Beatle, Sir George Martin, who produced The Beatles' recordings. Interestingly, prior to working with The Beatles, Martin was a classical record producer.

I can't remember the last time the Capitol Theatre audience had as much fun as it did Friday night. There was singing and lots of dancing going on — even some "Twisting" in the orchestra pit by Wheeling Symphony board member Leah Ridenhour and WSO staffer Micah Labishak.

It certainly was an all-age concert, with youngsters as young as 7 and on up ... I mean, who doesn't love The Beatles?

And, please don't tell the fire marshal, but there were a few lighters flicked at the end of the show ... and not just the iPhone Zippo app either, although there were a few of those (including yours truly.)

Oh, and keep those lighters handy.

Jeans 'n Classics will be bringing the music of Led Zeppelin to the Capitol Theatre for the April 8 Wheeling Symphony Orchestra's pops concert.

"Dancing Days," "Dazed and Confused," "Whole Lotta Love," "Stairway to Heaven" ... I can hear them in my head already.

 
 

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