Steve Wilson | Examiner.com
The Heartland Men’s Chorus performed their final show of the season and their first show in their new venue, The Muriel Kauffman Theatre inside the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, on Saturday to a sold out house. “All You Need Is Love” is a musical tribute to the Beatles, Dr. Joseph P. Nadeau Artistic Director.
The show begins as the curtain goes up and projected on a thin screen in front of the chorus is an old time black and white television set. On the screen of the television appears Ed Sullivan introducing the “youngsters from Liverpool” for the first time on American television. From the opening number and right up to the curtain going down for the final time the chorus rocked the house. Several times the audience interacted with the chorus, clapping to the beat of the music.
Accompanied on piano by Robert Lamar Sims the chorus began with their rendition of “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. They perform a medley of three songs before the Heartaches, a 12 person ensemble of singers, take the stage for “Can’t Buy Me love.” The full chorus then performed a fabulous three song medley.
The third medley began with “Eleanor Rigby” and then a solo performance by Benjamin Helmers of “Michelle.” That was followed by a solo presentation by John Edmonds singing “Hey Jude”. The solo performances like the ones to follow were magnificent.
After the intermission the chorus returns to the stage wearing clothing reminiscent of the 1960’s. Greg Maupins and Jeff Williams began with solo performances of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Other solo performers were Steven Jeffrey Karlin, Ryan Harris-Hernandez, Eric Aufdengarten and Brandon Shelton. Two songs later the Heartaches again took the stage for “Blackbird.”
Several of the songs were accompanied by dancers in front of the chorus. The dancers were choreographed by Tracie Davis. The dancers and the special effects on the wall behind the chorus only enhanced an already spectacular show. During the performance Rick McAdams stood to the right front of the stage interpreting the show with sign language.
From the stage hand that helped build the set, to the musicians, the chorus, the dancers and everyone involved in the show congratulations for creating a memorable program for anyone who had the good fortune to attend it. There could not have been a more spectacular end to their season. One can only speculate how good the next season might be.