Let Me Entertain You Review - A Terrific Musical Performance

There’s no business like show business – and Jules Styne’s greatest song hits exemplify that in the Light Opera Works production of Let Me Entertain You. This is the last production of the ambitious Light Opera Works, and it’s a terrific send-off for so many hit songs many of us grew up singing.

 

1) Justin Adair, Kelly Britt, William Roberts, Emily Barnash, Larry Adams and Mary Robin Roth in Light Opera Works’ Let Me Entertain You, Jule Styne’s Greatest Hits, October 7-16, 2016 at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, IL.

Guests are treated to a star-studded concert of Broadway, Hollywood and popular songs delectably sung by six truly talented performers. Justin Adair, Larry Adams, Emily Barnash, Kelly Britt, William Roberts and Mary Robin Roth belt out a bunch of terrific tunes as they sashay around the Nichols Concert Hall stage in Evanston.

 

“Jule Styne wrote so many great songs in so many different styles that it’s difficult to identify his musical fingerprints on a song,” notes the program’s guide. Styne was a songwriter’s songwriter, working with many lyricists including Stephen Sondheim, Frank Loesser, Comden and Green, and Sammy Cahn to name a few.

  

2) Justin Adair and William Roberts in Light Opera Works’ Let Me Entertain You, Jule Styne’s Greatest Hits

Whether he was writing for Broadway scores, including his first 1947 show called “High Button Shoes” or for Hollywood in such shows as “Funny Girl” his songwriting transcends many decades and seems timeless to his legion of fans. Act One focuses on the music he wrote for Broadway, while Act Two combines his pop tunes with songs written for the movies.

 

As Rudy Hogenmiller, the artistic director of the Light Opera Works, explains that Styne began his musical career as a child prodigy pianist, and eventually wrote so many popular songs that Frank Sinatra called him “simply the best there is at what he does.”

 

4) Emily Barnash in Light Opera Works’ Let Me Entertain You, Jule Styne’s Greatest Hits,

The sextet of singers look like they’re having a ball during the show. They prance around the intimate stage, holding hands or dancing, but always in the moment of pure fun mixed with drama when necessary.

 

Here’s a rundown of some of the many Jule Styne songs in this entertaining show: “Let Me Entertain You” tops off the performance followed by such hits as “Together Wherever We Go,” Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” “The Party’s Over,” “Neverland” from Peter Pan, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You,” “Three Coins in the Fountain,” and the inimitable “Make Someone Happy.”

  

10) Larry Adams, William Roberts and Justin Adair in Light Opera Works’ Let Me Entertain You, Jule Styne’s Greatest Hit

There are 38 songs in this special event. The singers are ably and joyfully assisted by a trio of talented musicians: Linda Madonia, the music conductor; Joseph Krzysiak on Bass; and Joey Zymonas on drums. We enjoyed watching Zymonas smiling along to the drumbeat which he was really ‘into.’

 

Light Opera Works features Let Me Entertain You concludes with three weekend performances at Nicholas Concert Hall at 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. On Friday, the show will be at 8 pm; Saturday two shows at 2 and 8 pm and Sunday at 2 pm. It’s surely an afternoon or evening of special music for all ages.

 

11) Mary Robin Roth, Emily Barnash and Kelly Britt in Light Opera Works’ Let Me Entertain You, Jule Styne’s Greatest Hits

To order tickets or for more information call the Light Opera Works box office at 847-920-5360 or order online 24 hours a day at the Light Opera Works website

 

12) William Roberts, Emily Barnash, Justin Adair, Mary Robin Roth, Larry Adams and Kelly Britt in Light Opera Works’ Let Me Entertain You, Jule Styne’s Greatest Hits

 

Photo Credit:  Brett Beiner Photography

 

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