An incredible four-act ROCK N ROLL/DOO WOP SPECTACULAR Roars into Proctors Theatre
Headlining the show is the legendary, ageless Chubby Checker. Chubby looks like he is fifty and sings and dances like he’s 50 too. Chubby grew up in South Philadelphia and formed a street-corner harmony group at age 8. He learned to play piano at Settlement Music School and went to South Philadelphia High School, where he entertained classmates, including Fabian Forte, with vocal impressions of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Fats Domino. After school, he worked at Produce Market, where his boss was so impressed with his customers’ enjoyment of Chubby’s singing impressions that he had him record a version of “Jingle Bells” in which he imitated popular recording stars. Dick Clark sent the song as a Christmas greeting to his business associates, and Cameo Parkway Records signed Chubby. In 1959, “The Class” was his first hit record. “The Twist” was originally a “B” side, but Chubby tirelessly promoted it on tv, in interviews and in performances. By the summer of 1960, “The Twist” became a #1 hit, introducing the concept of couples “dancing apart to the beat” and leading to a revolution in dancing with one dance craze leading to another (the Jerk, the Hully Gully, the Boogaloo, etc.), and Chubby was at the forefront with “The Fly,” “The Pony” and “The Hucklebuck.”
In 1962, “Pony Time” was a #1 hit that was on the charts for 16 weeks, and Chubby starred in two movies: “Don’t Knock the Twist” and “Twist Around the Clock.” For the first time in record history, “The Twist” re-entered the charts and, by January of 1962, it was #1 again on the Billboard charts. Chubby Checker merchandise was everywhere: t-shirts, shoes, ties, dolls, even chewing gum! More huge hits followed: “The Fly,” “Let’s Twist Again,” “The Limbo Rock, “ and he won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance. He was the only act to have 5 albums in the top 12 at the same time. In 1964, Chubby married Catharina Lodders, Miss World of 1962.
Chubby continues to push musical boundaries while performing all over the world. In 1988, “Yo Twist,” performed with the Fat Boys, was a #14 hit and in 2007 “Knock Down the Wall” went to #1 on the Billboard Dance charts, introducing Chubby Checker to a new generation of fans. Chubby looks and sounds young and continues to display his historic dance moves. You’ll see why Chubby Checker was recently voted “Casino Performer of the Year” and why “The Twist” was the most frequently played song on the radio in the history of rock music.
Co-headlining the show is The Doo Wop Project. The Doo Wop Project consists of five Broadway stars from smash hit shows like JERSEY BOYS and MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL. This supergroup of Broadway stars transforms hits from the classic and modern American pop songbook into unforgettable renditions of your favorite songs. The Doo Wop Project traces the evolution of the classic American Doo Wop sound with five guys singing tight street-corner harmonies (including songs by The Crests, The Belmonts, the Flamingos and more). This musical journey includes the hit-sounds of Motown (including The Temptations and Smokey Robinson) and of classic East-Coast Pop royalty like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Dion. Finally, we will experience “DooWopified” versions of hit songs by more recent stars such as Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz, Garth Brooks, Maroon 5 and more. Audiences will be moved to reminisce, and newer generations will marvel at classic golden Doo Wop sounds… as well as versions of more recent hit songs.
Additionally, WMHT (PBS) will televise THE DOO WOP PROJECT’s brand new TV concert-special in June, giving the capital district audience an exclusive first look. Like their live show, this concert special gives a taste of the unparalleled authenticity of sound and vocal excellence in the group’s recreations of some of the greatest American hits in Pop and Rock history.
Members of the Doo Wop Project include:
DOMINIC NOLFI: original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys, Motown: The Musical and A Bronx Tale.
CHARL BROWN: TONY-AWARD NOMINEE for his portrayal of Smokey Robinson in Motown: The Musical; JERSEY BOYS, SISTER ACT and HAIR
DWAYNE COOPER: Motown: The Musical, Hairspray, Smokey Joe’s Café
RUSSELL FISCHER: Jersey Boys, Big: The Musical
JOHN MICHAEL DIAS: Jersey Boys, Beautiful: The Carol King Musical
SONNY PALADINO: Musical Director: Pippin, The Great Comet, The Last Ship, Billy Eliot, A Beautiful Noise, The Wanderer
Fantastic audience favorite, The Duprees, will also grace the Proctors stage. The Duprees are known worldwide for their romantic interpretations of some of the most beautiful love songs ever written. They possess a smooth yet powerful vocal quality and heavenly harmonies, evidenced in the huge hit “You Belong to Me.” Other hits include: “My Own True Love,” “Gone with the Wind,” “Why Don’t You Believe Me,” “Have you Heard” and “Theme from Exodus.” Although their romantic harmonies are second to none, The Duprees also present a dynamic stage show that will bring the house down.
Opening the show is long-time regional fave Trish Anderson, singing female hits of the era. In her fifth decade of performing, Trish is most widely recognized as the lead singer of the Bluz House Rockers (26th year with them). Trish was inducted into the New York State Blues Hall of Fame and has shared the stage in concert with Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Eddie Money, Marshall Tucker, and Little Feat, A singer-songwriter, her “Three Dollar Bill’ went to #2 on the pop 100 charts in Denmark. She and her band also perform every January on the Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches cruise into the Caribbean. Her friend Trez Gregory, who backed up Brooks and Dunn in concert for 7 years, will travel from Ohio to back up Trish at Proctors. Four great acts, one great night of timeless music transporting the audience back to a wonderful time in their lives.
Tickets are on sale now at Proctors Box Office, by phone at (518) 346-6204 and on line at proctors.org.