Five By Design will perform “Club Swing” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at Waupaca High School.
The Minnesota-based vocal jazz ensemble includes Lorie Carpenter-Niska, Catherine Farr-Scott, Kurt Niska, Michael Swedberg and Terrence Niska. Four of the members have been singing together since 1986.
Sponsored by the Waupaca Fine Arts Festival, “Club Swing” follows the rise and fall of the fictional Hotel Crosby, “where the music’s hot, the drinks are cool, and the legend lives forever.”
From the frenetic-paced opening of Benny Goodman’s “Bugle Call Rag” to the show’s blockbuster finale of Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing,” Club Swing celebrates the songs, events and personalities that defined American popular culture during the big band era from 1937 to 1955.
Whether performing their arrangement of Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine,” the madcap parody of Spike Jones’ “Cocktails for Two,” or the lush romance of Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa,” Five By Design blends music and theatrics for a unique concert experience.
Five By Design’s flagship production, “Radio Days,” debuted in the 1980s as a patriotic tribute to the “golden age of radio,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of World War II.
The Washington Post described the Kennedy Center performance of “Radio Days” with the National Symphony Orchestra as “one of the best pops performances of the season.”
With the success of “Radio Days” and the renewed interest in swing, the Baltimore Symphony requested another production from Five By Design. This led to the premiere of “Club Swing” in 2001.
Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and go on sale starting June 6. Ticket outlets include the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce and the Waupaca Community Arts Center, both located on Main Street in Waupaca.