By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
A good melody is timeless.
So says Bud Forrest, creator and producer of “In the Mood,” a big band-inspired 1940s musical revue that’s playing Saturday in Everett.
Well, how about more than 40 good melodies?
That’s about how many songs the audience will hear as “In the Mood” recreates the swing era experience.
Tunes such as “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B),” “In The Mood,” “Tuxedo Junction” and “Sing, Sing, Sing” are among the big band hits on program for the 13-piece String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra.
“What we play are the war horses of the era,” said Forrest, a Juilliard-trained pianist and conductor who served as accompanist for the Air Force chorus “The Singing Sergeants.”
“What makes us unique is that we’re a variety show,” Forrest said in a phone interview. “So the goal is to present flavors of different styles, whether it be swing or a solo; this is not just a Glenn Miller overview.”
The show does celebrate the music of Glenn Miller, along with that of Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Erskine Hawkins, The Andrews Sisters and Frank Sinatra — most of the greats of 1940s.
This show is as big and brassy as its music, with a company of 19 singers and dancers on stage in sassy costumes doing some high-kicking choreography.
“In the Mood” recently hired stage director and Broadway choreographer Alex Sanchez for the show’s jitterbug dances and production numbers. This is one of the ways “In the Mood” stays fresh and new for audiences, said Forrest, who added that the show is constantly being reworked and updated.
There are some permanent songs in the show, but many are rotated out and replaced from the big body of swing-era music.
“I’m always faced with what songs to leave out,” Forrest said. “There are such wonderful melodies of the period, so we vary the selection so people who want to see the show more than once can have variety.”
“In the Mood” tries to capture the America of the 1940s, the spirit of the time as World War II struck and the country seemed to cling to that common thread of big band music for a morale booster, Forrest said.
“There’s a narrator who ties the elements together of before and after the war,” Forrest said. “There is no boy meets girl plot but it’s an odd combination of patriotism and nostalgia and romance.”
A big part of the show is also honoring veterans.
And this tribute to the military is a big reason why “In the Mood” has run for 19 years, Forrest said.
Lots of people who attend the show are either veterans or are members of the military.
“So the music, I feel a connection to it because I see the impact the music has on the audience,” Forrest said. “It’s as if a big band is coming to Everett and it’s the 1940s — that’s what we present.”
“In The Mood” performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Everett Civic Auditorium at the Everett High School, 2415 Colby Ave., Everett.
Tickets are $35. Groups of eight or more get $5 off; 16 or more get $10 off.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; firstname.lastname@example.org.