Singin' in the Rain slated for Saturday

Posted: Thursday, February 04, 2010

Weather forecasters say there is a high likelihood of rain Saturday, but art enthusiasts expect a bright and shining evening for the annual Singin' in the Rain presented by Juneau Jazz & Classics.

Locals will be the stars of the show as they present the cabaret production with jazz pianist Barney McClure on Saturday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15.

A group of aspiring and accomplished singers have been conducting an intensive five-day cabaret workshop with McClure this week to bring out the best jazz within them.

"This is the largest show that we've done here," Executive director Sandy Fortier said. "We have 34 singers."

Each singer chooses a song that they enjoy singing and work with McClure, who does the arrangement of each song, to perfect it throughout the week.

"They get up and show their work and it's just a fun event," Fortier said.

The JACC is turned into a "great little cabaret atmosphere" to help illuminate the performances, she said.

"Sometimes they'll pick two or three songs and they'll sing them with Barney and they will pick one that they can really shine with," Fortier said.

McClure has performed across the globe over the years and has backed up some of Hollywood's legendary performers, including Bob Hope, Steve Allen and Bob Newhart.

"A lot of the jazz standards are being done this year, but the performers put their own twist on it and make it their own," Fortier said. "That's what's fun about it."

There will also be an "imaginative" silent auction, complimentary fresh fruit and cheeses and a no-host bar to help bring the evening together.

The funds raised from the benefit will go toward the 24th annual Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival, which is scheduled for May 21-30.

The lineup for the 24th annual event includes Ruthie Foster, Jeff Antoniuk and the Jazz Update, Ingrid Jensen and a finale by Royal Crown Revue. It is also scheduled to include some classical artists, such as guitarist The Jasper String Quartet, flutist Robert Dick, and The Fischer Duo.

For tickets or more information on either event visit www.jazzandclassics.org or call (907) 463-3378.

• Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.



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