Sha Na Na, Reagle Music Theatre
The legendary musical group Sha Na Na kicks off Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston's fall concert season with a rollicking afternoon of classic Doo Wop and 1950s rock 'n' roll on Saturday, September 22 at 2 p.m. in the Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington Street, Waltham. Original band members Jocko Marcellino, a Quincy, Mass. native, Donny York, and Screamin' Scott Simon lead this seven-member band in a part concert, part song and dance party that will have audience members of all ages twisting, strolling, and hand jiving in the aisles.
"Sha Na Na has become synonymous with vintage rock 'n' roll," says Robert Eagle, producing artistic director of Reagle Music Theatre. "Their outstanding musicianship, extraordinary harmonies, and free-wheeling theatrical style simultaneously celebrate and spoof the great era of the 1950s. Founders Jocko Marcellino, Donny York and Screamin' Scott Simon are still going strong and serve as the group's indefatigable leaders. They have not only lived through musical history. They have created it."
Sha Na Na was one of 32 acts to perform at the famed Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969. Then a 12-man group formed originally as an a capella choir while students at Columbia University, Sha Na Na performed a 35-minute set just before guitarist Jimi Hendrix closed the three-day festival with his electrifying reinterpretation of The Star Spangled Banner. Unlike most acts to appear at Woodstock, Sha Na Na was a throwback to more innocent times. Yet their unique combination of talent and flair got them noticed at Woodstock and earned them their first recording contract. Later immortalized in the film documentary Woodstock and the movie musical Grease, Sha Na Na is one of the most enduring musical groups of its era. Its syndicated variety series, also called Sha Na Na, ran from 1977 to 1981.
Current band members are Jocko Marcellino, vocals; Donny York, vocals; Screamin' Scott Simon, vocals, keyboards, guitar and bass; Tim Butler, vocals, bass and guitar; Paulie Kimbarow, vocals, drums; Randy Hill, vocals, guitar; and "Downtown" Michael Brown, saxophone. Their two-act show features a parade of classic hits including "At the Hop," "Peppermint Twist," "Tequila," "Love Potion No. 9," "Come Go with Me," "Sandy," "Hand Jive," "Get a Job," "Lucille," and "In the Still of the Night." Audience members get involved during a sing-along, a dance contest, and the hilarious "Greaser Olympics."
The fall concert season includes Sha Na Na September 22 at 2 pm; Remembering the'40s October 13 at 2 and 7 pm and October 14 at 2 pm; The Rat Pack, back by popular demand, November 11 at 2 pm; and the 30th edition of Reagle's annual holiday tradition ChristmasTime in 10 performances December 7-16.