The show In The Mood, billed as a phenomenon among touring shows for the past 17 years, will delight audiences of all ages. Bud Forrest, the creator and executive producer of the musical that features singing, dancing and Big Band sounds, said the show which he created, has been touring longer than the Big Band era lasted.
Asked how does he keep patrons coming back to see the show year after year, he said, “The musicians I hire from all over the country. They are very top-notch level musicians; many are retired from the military bands in Washington, D.C. that pretty much can play whatever I give them. Musically, I can do whatever I want to do.”
He went on to say that the singers and dancers, a few who have been with him for years, are mostly “brand new so I try to tailor some of the show to their particular abilities.”
The show is more than a concert. In The Mood is a “Big Band Theatrical Swing Revue.” It is the music of Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Erskine Hawkins, The Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra and other greats of the 1940s, said the official press release.
“There are a few war horses I have to do,” Forrest said referring to songs that everybody wants to hear year after year. “Songs like ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and ‘Tuxedo Junction.’ But there is just so much material I can choose from. One of my hardest jobs is figuring what songs to leave out. Such good material and great songwriters I think that is what made them popular then and makes them popular today.”
In The Mood takes a retro look at the life and time of America’s greatest generation. Forrest said it was a time when everyone listened and danced to the same style of music. When young men went to war and could listen to a song and remember where he was back home.
“American music, American lyrics and American songs,” he noted. “We are going to Australia in September for two or three weeks so we will be taking our American music to them.”
Forrest said PPAC offers a perfect theater for his show.
“This is our first time in Johnstown,” he said.
He hopes people will attend to enjoy “a celebration of an unusual era in American music, the 1940s, the Swing Era. There is no story In The Mood,” he explained. “The music is the story. It is nonstop, two hours of singing, dancing and Big Band and I guarantee that everyone will walk out with an appreciation what that music meant not just to the World War II generation but to today’s world as well.
“We are loosing the members of the World War II generation unfortunately quite rapidly, but we have the Baby Boomers who grew up listening to the music from their parents and the have a great appreciation for it,” he said. “Plus, the Swing Dance community especially on the college campuses are really into this. It is a good family show. From PK to 80 will all enjoy it.”
The National Archives in Washington, D.C. brought In The Mood to their audiences as part of their commemoration of the 50th anniversary of World War II and the response was extraordinary, extending the engagement to extra performances.
In 1993, the Archives presented a repeat performance, out-of-doors on Constitution Avenue, with thousands in attendance. As a result, In The Mood became affiliated with the USO, touring across the United States during the 50th Commemoration of WWII. The show has also played in Europe.
In 1997, they were selected to be part of the entertainment for the Inauguration Ball of the President and Mrs. Bill Clinton.
As Forrest said the one quote he would give to entice everyone to attend would be, “If you have never seen a Big Band before, this would be the show to come to.”
For tickets, call the box office at 269-7200 or 800-846-2787.