CalPhil presents Frank, Tony & The Maestro – Crooner's Delight

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Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Maestro Daniel Shindarov joined CalPhil’s fine orchestra led by Victor Vener on stage for a nearly 4-hour musical blast from the past.

Okay, well, no. But, it’s mostly true. Substituting for Mr. Sinatra was Michael B. Levin and taking over Bennett’s song and dance was Broadway’s Kevin Earley.

Arcadia’s Arboretum was packed with smiles and anticipation as Vener greeted the crowd for his penultimate performance of the season. Many times, we rely on Vener’s casual touches to keep dense work afloat. Tonight’s music was so cool and calm that Vener could step back and enjoy.

Baritone Earley came first. His bombastic Broadway voice often reached for the rafters. Smooth and strong, his energy is comfortable and energetic. Maybe a little too middle-of-the-road for a Bennett or Sinatra vibe.

Then came the crooner. Michael B. Levin is one of the nation’s foremost Sinatra tribute artists. His voice carries texture and character. His presence fills the stage and half the venue. We saw just a taste of what is probably normally his 2-hour show.

Maestro Daniel Shindarov captured the crowd masterfully. He worked delicately through the introduction and Rondo Capriccio Op. 28. Magnificent; and earned the standing ovation that followed.

The crowd was a bit different than normal and by the second half it was clear why. Unlike shows earlier in the season, the older names brought out a younger crowd. By the end, possibly aided by libations, the famous songs with their memorable lyrics brought on something of an impromptu sing-along. Truly showing the power of this amazing music.

What’s that?  You wanna know if there’s more shows this season?  Sure:

BEETHOVEN & BROADWAY
August 21 & 22 – The Ninth Meets Broadway Magic
Beauty And The Beast • The Lion King • Les Miserables
The Music Man • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 – Ode To Joy
Beethoven: Leonore No. 3 • The Little Mermaid

For more information on CalPhil at the Aboretum, click here.

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Michael B. Levin’s website

Kevin Earley’s website
Kevin Earley’s Facebook
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Daniel Shindarov’s website Daniel Shindarov’s Facebook

To friend and follow this article’s author Joe Wehinger:

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