National touring act, In the Mood, to perform in OC
(April 14, 2017) National touring act, In the Mood, pays tribute to Big Band era tunes from the 1930s and ‘40s, at the Ocean City Performing Arts Center, this Saturday, beginning at 7 p.m.
A number of local World War II veterans have been invited to attend the show, where a collection of more than 40 songs will be played by a 13-piece String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra with six singers and swing dancers performing to the sounds of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and the Andrews Sisters, among others.
“These songs are timeless, nostalgic and patriotic,” said Bud Forrest, creator, producer and musical director of the show. “They have an impact on us as Americans and people love to reminisce. We all remember a person or place with song.”
The musical revue is jazzy and rhythmic with special arrangements, costumes and choreography.
“It is a family show enjoyed by everyone for 23 years, from young people to baby boomers,” Forrest said. “We also pay tribute and honor all veterans who have served our country.”
During a recent meeting, the Vietnam Veterans of America Ocean City Chapter 1091 voted to purchase 25 tickets to the show and donate them to World War II veterans and their spouses.
“It looks like it will be a good show,” said Nelson Kelly, Vietnam Veterans of America Ocean City Chapter 1091 president. “[World War II veterans] will be sitting in three rows of aisle seats. Most of them are in their 90s. They are nicknamed the ‘Greatest Generation’ because they are the greatest generation.”
The Ocean City American Legion Post 166 had a list of local World War II veterans and Kelly contacted most of them personally.
A week before the show, a handful of World War II veterans and two attendants from the Brandywine Assisted Living facility in Fenwick Island were added to the guest list, bringing the total number of complementary tickets to 34, courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans of America Ocean City Chapter 1091.
Bob and Marie Gilmore, members of the Ocean City chapter, will be in the lobby before the show handing out tickets, greeting veterans and escorting them to their seats.
“We can’t do enough for these World War II vets,” Marie Gilmore said. “The group is performing upbeat song and dance of the ‘30s and ‘40s. An era of music they enjoy. It should be a fun time.”
Richard Brady, a World War II and Korean War veteran in the Navy, thinks the show will bring back fond memories of his battleship days.
“In the evenings, after mess (dinner) a group of guys would get their instruments and the ship’s crew would hang out on the deck or sit on the turrets looking down at the band and enjoy an hour or two of big band music,” Brady said. “A little time for respite during the war.”
He is thrilled to be attending the show a few weeks before his 90th birthday.
“It’s the music I grew up with, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and all the big bands,” Brady said. “Music I can probably sing all the words to.”
Tickets cost $27.50 and $37.50. To purchase tickets, go to ticketmaster.com, call 410-289-2800 or visit the box office in the convention center on 40th Street.