Oh What a Night! returns to Cairns Civic Theatre for one more show
RELIVE the sweet sound of the sixties and seventies at a tribute show that defines a generation.
It's five weeks into the Australian tour of Oh What a Night and writer, producer and performer in the show George Solomon says Australian audiences adore the show.
"We are having such an enthusiastic response," George says.
The show, direct from Las Vegas, is a tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, but it is not a biography.
The four performers do not pretend to be the Four Seasons, as each keeps very much to their own style of singing.
They also all take a turn at the lead vocals, so as to showcase each performer, who are all stars in their own right.
The idea for the show came from the show's director Michael Chapman, who suggested doing a second show when George was performing a one-man show and singing some songs from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
"I loved the music," George says.
His sisters were in love with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons so he knew all their songs from a young age.
"When I was five years old I used to sing Sherry to a girl, who was my first crush," he says.
"I used to sit on her front steps and sing."
George wrote the script for the show and held auditions in Las Vegas, with a wealth of talented singers turning up for the opportunity.
The first show was in the autumn of 2008 in the United States and it is still running, with now 40 singers taking turns in the show.
For the Australian tour, the original four are back together.
Songs in the show include Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like A Man, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back To You, Let's Hang On and Who Loves You.
Given that it's a tribute show to a band that was around in the '60s and '70s, you might imagine George Solomon, Paul Holmquist, Brandon Albright, and Rick Morgan are of a similar age, but the show has younger men, who are fit, and who dance as well as sing.
It has often been a source of amusement for the cast when audiences mistake them for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
"When we were playing in Las Vegas, a woman came right up in my face and said, I can't believe you had hit records in the '60s," George says, laughing.
"We never claimed to be the original group."
The style of the numbers range from the cool Motown notes of the '60s to the disco vibe of the '70s, and the songs are interspersed with comedic introductions by the four performers.
George says his challenge as a performer is singing those very high notes, especially as his speaking voice is in the low range.
"Plenty of water and sleep," is his mantra for keeping his voice in tip top condition on tour.
George's favourite part of the show is when he gets to dress up as John Travolta to sing Grease while moving into the auditorium.
"I like that connection with the audience," he says.
George has worked with many industry icons from George Michael to Bill Cosby, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Harry Connick Jr and Liza Minnelli to name just some stars.
His favourites were Smokey Robinson, whose show he worked on as a creative consultant, and Diana Ross.
"They were the nicest people on the planet," he says.
Producing, writing, creative consulting, George has done it all, but it is the roar of the crowd that is still his greatest joy.
"I am absolutely consumed with what I do," he says.
"I really like creating but there is nothing like being on stage."
"As long as I can still get up there, I will."
>>Oh What a Night: A Musical Tribute to Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons is at the Cairns Civic Theatre tonight (Feb 26) at 7.30pm. For tickets, visit www.ticketlink.com.au or phone 1300 855 835.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
What a Night : Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons