MANSFIELD – Local performers will bring the nostalgia of old-time radio to life Sept. 30 at Dan Lew Exchange (DLX) in Mansfield.
Gravity Ohio will present an evening of Gershwin and Porter, two 20th Century American composers, at 7 p.m. on the DLX patio, 28 N. Main St.
Performance loaded with local talent
Gershwin and Porter on Love, inspired by radio broadcasts of the 1940s, will feature 12 local performers.
The show is led by an eight-member creative team including Marianne Cooper, founder of Richland Academy of the Arts.
Cooper said there’s much for the audience to look forward to regarding the upcoming event, specifically the talent of local performers.
“They’re all talented in so many different directions,” she said. “There are some old faces that people will recognize, and there are some new faces, so I’m excited about that too.”
Performing in the show will be: Debra Akers, Ken Barnett, Oliver Cline, Tim Dennis, Rachel Fitzgerald, Amy Glorioso, Whitney Glorioso, Craig Green, Adena King, Eric Stigall, Joe Trolian and Jay Wachs.
Flashback to the 1940s
The performance will include singing and dancing aided by live piano, as well as sound effects.
A design has been brought to life intended to take audience members back in time, before the days of television, when listening to the radio spurred the imagination of listeners.
Those on the creative team include Barnett, Cooper, Kendra Gagne, Rollie Harper, Dan Lew, Alicia Porter, Stigall and Wachs.
Visual attraction was just as important to consider while planning the radio concept, Cooper said.
“We’ll have an applause sign and singers will be on-stage the entire time,” she said. “There will be an announcer and even commercials, all about local things.”
Cooper said she’s thrilled to share the music of George Gershwin and Cole Porter.
Works from both composers have been woven together for the performance.
“It’s outstanding music, and I’m afraid so much of it has been lost,” she said. “It’s really important for us to showcase these kinds of tunes.”
Narrowing down numbers to be included in the performance was the most difficult part of the planning process, Cooper said.
“There’s something about all of them that I really love,” she said. “But I try to make an interesting show, not just throwing songs up on the wall.”
She said the performance will not include a designated theme.
Instead, a variety of songs about humor, travel and love will be heard by those in attendance.
Whole group numbers, solos and duets will be interwoven throughout the evening show, planned to be performed outdoors on the DLX patio.
DLX support of community arts
In the event of inclement weather, the show will be moved indoors to the Kobaker Room.
Cooper praised the hard work of those involved with the upcoming performance, who have been unselfishly giving of their time, she said.
“We’re so fortunate in this town,” she said. “This kind of a concept is unique and needs to happen, again and again.”
Grateful for the encouragement she’s received, Cooper said this performance wouldn’t be possible without Lew, owner of DLX and technical director of the show.
“Dan Lew is a huge proponent of the arts,” she said. “Not only is he an artist himself, but he promotes the arts as well.”
The performance is free to the public.
Food and beverages will be available for additional costs.
Folks interested in reserved seating at DLX may call (419)-522-7699.
The Life & Culture section is powered by University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center.
Community investment made this reporting happen. Independent, local news in Shelby and Northern Richland County is brought to you in part by the generous support of Phillips Tube Group, R.S. Hanline, ArcelorMittal, Lloyd Rebar, Hess Industries, and Shelby Printing.