By Chris Bavender
The music of the American Songbook swing era will take center stage when the Carmel Community Players present Club Morocco May 1-17.
“The music of The Great American Songbook is timeless and is one of the most important eras of musical development in American history,” said director, Ashton Wolf. “It speaks to people of all ages and lives in the hearts of millions of American, young and the young at heart. The music and artist of the swing era have been influencing generations of musical artists and can even now be heard by the likes of Lady Gaga teaming up with Tony Bennet to deliver some of her best performances yet.”
A cast of 14 singers and dancers from all over the greater Indianapolis area, as well Carmel, Noblesville, and Fishers will bring the show to life.
The talent that auditioned for this show was amazing. We were able to pull together a dream-team production staff and in addition, we’ve been fortunate to acquire excellent musicianship,” Wolf said.
In addition, the show will feature a seven piece band playing songs by the likes of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen and Louis Prima.
“The Music of the swing era was about big bands with lots of horns and great swing arrangements,” Wolf said. “We have stayed true to the arranging style of the time and wanted as many band members as possible to create the big band sound. If you’re going to play swing, you have to have real musicians.”
The play opens with actual live film-noir style footage and will “explode into a rainbow of colors on the first downbeat of the music.”
“We are turning the entire theatre into the Club Morocco, with tables available for some of our patrons. And, we will invite the audience to dance if they wish,” Wolf said. “You won’t feel like you are in a theatre, you’ll feel like you are at the Club Morocco, a swanky Hollywood-esque style nightclub akin to those that existed during the heyday of the swing era; Ciro’s, Slapsy Maxie’s, the Trocadero et al.”
Wolf said the show isn’t just a play – but an experience.
“It’s a high-flying swing-music musical with gangsters and gumshoes, songbirds and hoofers; where the swing is red-hot, the beauty dangerous and the luck as fleeting as the love,” Wolf said. “You’ll come for the mood and the mystery; you’ll stay for the swing because at Club Morocco – ‘Once you’ve had the taste you never lose the hunger.’”
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays May 1-17. Tickets are $17 for adults and $15 for seniors (62+) and students. They are available online at www.carmelplayers.org or by calling 317.815.9387.