By Becca Jennings
Back by popular demand, The Swingaroos, NYC’s swing-era territory band, return to FST this summer with an all new show, The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade. Inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, this musical revue pays tribute to such icons as Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, and Fred Astaire – all with The Swingaroos’ signature swingin’ spin.
“I wanted to capture the thrill that someone in the 1940s felt when they saw their favorite pop music stars on the big screen,” said band leader and lead vocalist Kimberly Hawkey. “The performers of Hollywood were hip, humorous, and classy – and were almost always multi-talented. We’re going to channel these elements and build an entertaining evening worthy of the ‘Hollywood’ name.”
Combining elements of Hollywood and Big Band swing, this Cabaret will blend two major streams of vintage American culture into one. “There happens to be a lot of crossover,” shared Hawkey. “Star-studded films, especially ones with musical stars, became Hollywood’s not-so-secret weapon to making big numbers at the Box Office. I love that we get to combine this historical fanaticism with songs people will recognize and enjoy.”
Featuring songs like “At Last,” “The Joint is Really Jumpin’ Down at Carnegie Hall,” and “Hooray for Hollywood,” The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade will transport audiences back to a time when big band flare ruled the silver screen. But don’t just expect the obvious Hollywood hits. The Swingaroos will re-interpret well-known songs, sharing their sometimes unexpected origins in forgotten films, before being made famous through radio broadcasts.
In addition to the stories behind the songs, Hawkey was drawn to the social and cultural climate of the ‘30s and ‘40s. “These song choices will underscore what was going on in America at that time,” she added.
Called “One of America’s favorite swing bands,” by Broadway World and “Sizzling” by The Observer, Hollywood Serenade marks The Swingaroos’ third production at FST. “FST audiences are savvy,” shared Hawkey. “I’m not afraid to include an obscure reference here and there when I’m writing. There’s always someone that picks up on it and appreciates it.”
Joining Hawkey are Music Director and Pianist Assaf Gleizner, trumpeter Steve Morley, drummer Uri Zelig, saxophonist and vocalist Marty Peters, and Philip Ambuel on the upright bass.
We look forward to having you join us on a musical exploration of the ‘30s and ‘40s – from The Great Depression and World War II to the rise of Hollywood glamour. “I believe this music is just as valuable as any history book,” concluded Hawkey. “And probably much more fun!”
Playing in FST’s Court Cabaret now through August 30 is The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade. For tickets and more information, click here.