‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ sets tone for Chestnut’s Andrews Sisters night

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Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne, The Andrews Sisters, that famous trio that entertained the U.S. Troops and the American public during the World War II years and afterward.

The dynamic trio, portrayed by Samantha Agron, Lindsay James, and Kyra Weinberger, breathe life into the songs that many remember as Andrews Sister’s classics. Probably the Andrews Sister’s most prolific hit, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” began the upbeat show, directed by Brad Zimmerman.

With the strong vocal performances of the female trio, and accompaniment by a magnificent quartet that included Lenora Remmert on piano, Ken Remmert on drums, by Brian Padavic on bass, and Harold Steinhardt on saxophone. The quartet delivered the music with authority, but Steinhardt stands out with his alto and soprano sax solos and background.

The two hour program included such memories as “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” “Pennsylvania Polka,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Sentimental Journey,” “The White Cliffs of Dover,” “Rum and Coca Cola.” “Don’t Fence Me In,” “Apple Blossom Time,” “Accentuate the Positive,”Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” “You’ll Never Know,” “Pistol Packin’ Momma, “God Bless America,” and many more–including a Christmas medley and a USO medley.

The vocal trio of girls brought one new voice to Chestnut audiences in the form of Kyra Weinberger, seen many times before at The Coterie and Theatre for Young America. For her debut show at The Chestnut Fine Arts, Weinberger not only sang one of the three principal parts, she also choreographed the show. Her choreography skills paid off as the “Andrews Sisters” were in constant motion throughout the show.

Samantha Agron has performed several times at The Chestnut previously, and around town at the Jewish Community Center, The Barn, Quality Hill Playhouse and others. Her soprano vocals are clear and her low register notes are always mellow and smooth. Lindsay James returns to The Chestnut for her fourth show in recent months. Lindsay possesses a beautiful soprano voice that is light and lilting. Combine these two powerful voices with Weinberger’s vocals and choreography and a lively, beautifully crafted show develops. Great work from all three of the ladies.

The lighting was bright. The set was colorful and reflected the appropriate expectations of a WWII show. The girls voices matched well. The costumes reflected those worn by the Andrews Sisters in many of their appearances. ll the technical aspects combined to make a cohesive show that guarantees crowd applause.

“Patty, Maxene and LaVerne” continues at The Chestnut until Dec. 18 (with some time off for the Thanksgiving holiday). After that run comes a quick remount of the extremely popular “Always, Patsy Cline” with Val Fagan and Stasha Case recreating their characters from their last production of “Always, Patsy Cline” at The Chestnut a few years ago. The show only runs for one week, so advance ticketing guarantees your seats. Call or visit The Chestnut Fine Arts website to reserve your tickets to “Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne” and/or “Always, Patsy Cline.” Tickets for both shows will sell fast. Do not delay. Make plans now and reserve early.

Tags: Theater, Performing Arts, Arts & Entertainment, The Chestnut Fine Arts, Olathe, Kansas City, Kansas City Theater, The Andrews Sisters, “Patty, Maxene and LaVerne, Music, Cabaret

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