‘In the Mood’ swings at ECA

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  • Monday, March 3, 2008 1:08pm

Question: What do you get when you combine a big band orchestra, singers and dancers?

Answer: “In the Mood.”

The Edmonds Center for the Arts brings this lively 1940s swing music review to the stage for two shows Saturday, Oct. 27.

“In the Mood” is a retro musical that takes a look back at America’s “greatest generation” and the music that moved a nation’s spirit and helped win a war. The music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Erskin Hawkins, The Andrews Sisters and Frank Sinatra are brought to life in the show, harkening back to the last time when all of America was listening and dancing to the same kind of music swing.

First produced in 1992, “In the Mood” has toured the U.S. and Europe and performed for a Clinton Presidential Inaugural Ball and as part of the National Archives’s commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of WWII. The production features a company of 22 including the In the Mood Singers and Dancers and the 14-piece String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra with authentic arrangements, costumes and choreography.

Producer and music director Bud Forrest, the creator and producer of “In the Mood,” has been sending this revue out across America for the past 16 years. Forest is a former Juilliard student who earned his B.A. from Ithaca College, N.Y. and did graduate work in music at Catholic University in Washington, DC. He was accompanist to the world famous “Singing Sergeants,” the official chorus of the United States Air Force. He has performed at Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre and the Kennedy Center with such performers as Cyril Ritchard, Tammy Grimes, Lillian Gish, Dick Shawn and John Raitt.

Arranger Vic Schoen has scored and arranged music as well as conducted for some of the greatest names in show business including Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Dinah Shore, Patti Page, Andy Williams, Ethel Merman, Shirley Maclaine, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Jolson, Mary Martin, Maurice Chevalier and Perry Como. He was music director in residence for Decca, Kapp, RCA, Liberty and Mainstream Records. In addition, Schoen was musical director for Universal Pictures for three years, Paramount Pictures for four years and scored two films for Walt Disney Productions.

All the above was accomplished after being the arranger and conductor for 20 years for all of the music of the Andrews Sisters. “In the Mood” is dedicated to this musician’s musician who died in January 2000.

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