Leave your cynicism, complicated lives and texting devices at home. Under the Streetlamp, which sprung up among four lead singers who toured nationally with the Tony-winning JERSEY BOYS, is all about a single, simple shared experience of popular music on the radio. You can experience that pure form of entertainment yourself when the quartet comes to Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on the UConn campus Saturday, October 27th at 8 pm.
Under the Streetlamp, which formed in 2010, stops in Storrs on a 32-city tour that begins its second leg in mid-October. The four troubadours – Shonn Wiley, Michael Ingersoll, Michael Cunio and Christopher Kale Jones – met while doing JERSEY BOYS, the wildly popular story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The show has been playing Broadway for seven years and has spawned touring renditions since 2006. These four couldn’t get enough of singing all week on stage and took to harmonizing on their nights off before they realized, as Ingersoll says, they “inadvertently created a band.”
“On our nights off — Sundays and Mondays — we’d be singing songs of the Beatles, the Drifters, Dion and the Belmonts,” Ingersoll says. They do Top 40 classics from those groups – “Twist and Shout,” “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “I Wonder Why,” respectively – and also from The Beach Boys (“I Get Around”), The Temptations (“Get Ready”), The Turtles (“Happy Together”) and, of course, The Four Seasons (“Workin’ My Way Back To You”).
Drawn to rock ’n’ roll history, from its roots in the 1940s to its modern phase in the ’80s, Under the Streetlamp focuses hard on the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, resulting in what they call the “American Radio Songbook.” The group’s name is taken from the rise of doo-wop when groups honed their harmonies while performing on streets under the only readily available spotlight in most cities.
“Mike Ingersoll belts out a mean Roy Orbison, Christopher Jones excels on soulful ballads, Michael Cunio rocks, and Wiley channels Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin,” Cleveland Scene recaps from the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Wiley, a Drama Desk Award-winning choreographer, also fashions many of the slick dance moves.
Opening for Under the Streetlamp is the Chicago-based a capella group Gentleman’s Rule, founded by Dan Ponce, the creator of the supergroup Straight No Chaser. Their debut CD is expected to be released in November.
Under the Streetlamp is featured in Jorgensen’s CABARET, winner of the “Best Cabaret” designation in Connecticut Magazine’s “Best of Connecticut” 2011 and 2012 issues. Jorgensen also was recently named Best College/University Performing Arts Center in the Hartford Advocate Best of Hartford Readers’ Poll for 2012.
This performance is sponsored by WNPR radio.
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. Doors open at 7 pm. Sandwiches, dessert, alcohol and other beverages are available for cash; food made be pre-ordered online at jorgensen.uconn.edu for added convenience. Tickets prices are $59 for cabaret seating, $50, $43 and $39, with some discounts available. For tickets and information, call the Box Office at 860.486.4226, Monday through Friday, 10 am –5 pm, or order online at jorgensen.uconn.edu. Convenient free parking is available across the street in the North Garage.
For more information on Under The Streetlamp visit www.underthestreetlamp.com.