Taking a step in a new direction, the Presby Players community theater will next weekend present "The Sixties Show," featuring songs from “Downtown” to “It’s My Party” to “My Guy” to “Hey Jude” and more.
“The sixties was an important decade for music,” said Sandy Stalter, the show’s musical director. “It started out with very early rock and roll and very early rhythm and blues, and it ended up with psychedelia and hard rock. It went through a very major change in just ten years."
The decade started out with TV banning the cameras from showing Elvis below the waist while also introducing The Beatles to America, Stalter said — with their “long hair” that, to many parents, was scandalous.
Presby Players’ director Jeffrey Stocker says the idea came about when he and Stalter were reviewing different songs. The music of the 1960s was winning them over.
“It’s the first time we’re presenting music exclusively from a particular decade,” Stoker said.
Performers span the generations
About 18 cast members, from middle school age to adults, will be performing, he said. The Presby Players will have in time for the performance new speakers, mikes, and an electronic piano that will play different instruments.
Even some of the parents of the younger performers in the show may not be familiar with the songs, so the audience will be given some extra insight into the decade, with statistics such as who recorded each song and how long it was on the charts.
“We like to expose everybody to music that maybe they’re not familiar with,” said Stalter.
Even so, she said, many of the younger performers requested a specific song because their parents or grandparents had introduced them to it.
Longtime Presby Player songster and actor Donna Dale said singing back-up is new to many of the younger cast members.
“Just about every song has back-up singers, and this is something they’ve never done before, to sing back-up and harmony," she said. "But they’re singing good songs from the sixties, and even if they’re not quite sure what they’re singing about, they’re doing a good job.”