You don’t often get many chances to revisit your childhood, or rather to have it revisit you. I was lucky enough to have one such experience this weekend. On Saturday night, I saw Rockapella in concert, and I was suddenly in third grade again.
Granted, the members have changed and aged, but they still make that incredible sound. When they closed the show with that most recognizable of theme songs, I cheered loudly from my seat. Oh, Carmen San Diego, what joy you gave me: the interesting geographic trivia, the life-or-death final round, and the sassy Chief, played by the late Lynne Thigpen.
For an intermissionless hour and fifteen minutes, the five a capella pros showed off their strengths as individuals and as a group. Vocal percussionist Jeff Thatcher had a few impressive solos. Bass George Baldi indulged his inner soprano, much to everyone’s amusement. John K. Brown used his unusual Cartlon Banks-ish charm to great effect on his Motown solos. New member Scott Dorian made an impression in what was only his second performance with the group. And lead man Scott Leonard still hit those high notes despite having broken his wrist and seven ribs last month when he was putting up Christmas lights. Together, these guys do create a wonderful sound. It’s best served when they sing the boy group standards of the ’50s and ’60s, and while their original work is specifically written to suit their talents, it’s significantly less memorable.
The most memorable thing about the performance were the two thirty-something tourist gals sitting next to us, who couldn’t fit their bags from FAO Schwartz and Bloomingdale’s under their seats, and who wore–and ate–candy necklaces from Dylan’s Candy Bar throughout the performance. Sidelong glances were just as entertaining as what was happening on stage.
Until next time, gumshoes…