50 years of ‘Abbey Road’
Commemorative performance set for May 24
The producers of musical productions “It Was 50 Years Ago Today” and “Forever Summer” are hoping the community will “Come Together” for their newest musical show entitled “And in the End.” The program celebrates the legendary Beatles album “Abbey Road” and commemorates its 50th anniversary. The evening event will be held at the historic Mishler Theatre in Altoona.
In the first act of the show, performers will entertain the audience singing tracks from the “Abbey Road” album. The second act will showcase other favorite Beatles music; songs from when The Beatles were a band and songs from their solo careers, such as “Imagine”.
“The first act we’ll be singing through ‘Abbey Road’ and it’s amazing, even though it is one of their most underrated albums. The second act is a collection of greatest hits, medleys and mashing songs up into one,” said Tony Demi from Altoona who will perform in the show.
Produced by William Allen Jones and presented by Altitude Entertainment, the music at the show will be performed by the Altitude Rock Ensemble, with music directed by Rick Wertz. International Beatles scholar, Dr. Kenneth Womack, will host the evening. In addition to Demi, other vocal performances will be by Ian Brumbaugh, Ellie Irwin, Will Jones and Margot Helbig-Masucci.
The vocalists in “And in the End” say the night is more of a concert than a show. They hope the audience will dance and sing along with them.
“It’s definitely more than a show. We’re portraying it more like a really fun atmosphere, like a concert. We don’t want people just sitting in their seats watching Beatles songs. We want it to feel like a rock and roll concert with a live band onstage. It’s fun and upbeat,” Demi said.
The vocalists will perform this lively, timeless music as an ensemble, with each of them taking main vocals in certain songs.
“We are all vocalists — all five of us and we are all featured on a lot of songs,” Helbig-Masucci said.
Some songs she will be highlighted on are “Fool on the Hill” and “I Want You.” Helbig-Masucci of Altoona is a Beatles admirer and is looking forward to the opportunity to sing their songs onstage.
“For my whole life I’ve been a huge Beatles fan, thanks to my dad. He is actually a musician and he’s the reason I really fell in love with The Beatles music. They are probably my favorite band. I’m just so excited; it will probably be the best musical show I’ve ever been a part of because it means a lot,” she said.
Brumbaugh of Dysart is also a veteran to performing songs onstage and likewise thinks this show is special. “It’s one unlike any other show. We want the audience to take a step out of reality, enjoy themselves and have a good time. The songs sound great and it’s an inviting atmosphere. Just take a step out of the day, appreciate good music and have a quality night out,” he said.
Brumbaugh will be highlighted on Paul McCartney’s classic “Maybe I’m Amazed.” The vocalists were able to choose a few of their favorite Beatles songs to perform. Demi will perform “Blackbird” during the second act, one of his personal favorites, although he is fond of all Beatles music.
“I am a Beatles fan … their music shaped my teenage years,” he said.
Beatles music transcends time with its optimistic, rhythmic melodies. The vocalists are hoping to bring that joy to the audience for a night of feel good fun.
Helbig-Masucci said, “We want everyone to have a good time and sing along with the music. The songs are so perfect, hopefully they will take people back to when the music was first out and popular. That’s the good thing about The Beatles, their music is still popular and people of all ages still enjoy listening to it, singing along and having a good time.”