This "Opening Gala Concert" of OFAM 2001 features something for just about everyone -- popular song, musical theater,
silent films, and jazz (from traditional to bop). A wonderfully high-spirited way to kick off our 10th anniversay season!
who is in charge of the festivities, will have a full musical pit orchestra and chorus at his command, a bevy of
great guest vocalists (including OFAM favorites
Shirley Sachs and
and his usual crack jazz band, in this case featuring legendary jazzmen
Peter Appleyard and
Throughout the evening we'll hear from 4 musicals -- all, of course, well-fitted to our loco-"motif"! Dick thought it
appropriate to begin our journey On The 20th Century and along the way we'll check out a little Gershwin
("Fascinating Rhythm"), drop in on Professor Harold Hill in that little Iowa town of his (The Music Man),
and wind up "On The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe" with The Harvey Girls. En route we'll pick up a couple of
popular songs too -- "Blues In The Night" and "Do The Locomotion" (how could we pass THAT one up?!).
If you're a film buff, then Dick and company offer clips from two classics of machine and steam -- one of the outrageous
train chase scenes from Buster Keaton's 1927 masterpiece The General (filmed in Cottage Grove!), and that whacky
sequence in Modern Times (1936) where Charlie Chaplin goes "loco" in the factory, runs after that woman with the
big buttons on her blouse (which he tries to tighten with his wrenches) and then gets sucked into the machinery. All,
of course, accompanied by Dick and his sidemen with appropriate improvisational flair.
The there is the jazz -- how can you have Dick Hyman, Peter Appleyard and Frank Wess on stage without jazz? They are
joined by a great group of sidemen (including
Tim Clarke, and
Matt Shevitz) for
a fair number tunes throughout the evening, including "Flying Home", "You Made A Good Move" (a Wess original), "Honky-Tonk
Train", "Take The 'A' Train", "Move", and "The Train And The River".
The evening concludes in quintessential Hyman style, with Shirley, Lenanne and company belting out "The OFAM Cannonball" --
a 17 minute (count 'em!) medley of 18 (count 'em again!) railroad songs arranged by Dick and orchestrated by L
ou Halmy especially for the occasion!
WHAT a ride! Get on board!