LIVE: “Swing” @ The Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham [GailSez]

July 25th, 2011, 2:30 pm by Sara
A rehearsal shot of the cast of "Swing!' at the Mac-Haydn Theatre.

A rehearsal shot of the cast of "Swing!' at the Mac-Haydn Theatre.

Trading on the mega-popular swing dance revival of the late 1990’s, Swing! ran a respectable year and two months on Broadway and was nominated for the Tony for Best Musical in 2000 despite not having a book. (Another dance musical, Contact won that year.) And when the Mac-Haydn first staged it back in 2004 I liked it very much, even though I am not in favor of calling a non-stop series of songs and dance numbers with absolutely no characters, dialogue, or plot a “musical.” So I was both pleased and nervous to see it back on the roster this summer.

I was pleased because I had happy memories of a great show, and nervous because none of the people I had seen in 2004 would be on the stage this time around. Swing! is a true ensemble show, the Mac-Haydn annually hires a core group of singers and dancers who appear in solo roles and ensemble numbers throughout the season.

Generally, by mid-July, I would recognize the ensemble members and have my favorites picked out. This year, not so much. Not that the 2011 company isn’t talented, but they aren’t stellar. I can recognize very few, even the ones who have impressed me in solo turns, like Victoria Broadhurst and Carl Hulden.

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April 28th, 2009, 3:53 pm by Greg

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks(Surfdog, 2009): Hicks was the ultimate hipster when he launched his recording career back in the ’70s with a unique blend of acoustic swing and Gypsy jazz that was at once nostalgic and surreal. Other than the members of the Hot Licks, nothing much else has changed over the years, and even the band’s sound has remained intact despite the revolving musicianship. This new batch of a dozen delightful tunes includes Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” the campfire classic “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” and the jaunty jug band gem “The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me.” In true fashion, the laconic Hicks makes them all sound like his own.

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks: Tangled Tales

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesRamblin Jug Stompers