High school string quartet joins touring ‘Beatles’ musical - Your West Valley News: Entertainment

High school string quartet joins touring ‘Beatles’ musical

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Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 12:05 pm

When the touring show “In My Life — A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles” comes to the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts on April 17, be on the lookout for two quartets — not just one.

The Arizona School for the Arts string quartet has the privilege of joining the professional actors on stage to add an element of orchestral texture to the evening.

“In My Life” is the musical retelling of the Beatles story through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein and featuring the live music of renowned tribute band Abbey Road. The band features Chris Paul Overall (“Paul”), Nathaniel Bott (“John”), Jesse Wilder (“George”) and Axel Clarke (“Ringo”). Brian Epstein is played by Alxander Jon. The production includes multimedia, period costumes and vintage instruments. The show is widely considered by industry insiders to be the most unique Beatles show in decades.

Arizona School for the Arts seniors Kaylee Cumpston, Jasmin Lee, Tristan Garcia and sophomore Yulee Kim will join the band for the songs “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye” and “Hey Jude.” In a special touch, “Yesterday” is played as a scene in which the Paul McCartney character plays the song for the first time for Beatles producer George Martin, with the songwriter explaining that he envisioned a string-quartet accompaniment.

The producers of “In My Life” approached Arizona School for the Arts Orchestra Director Cindy Blandino, looking for a talented ensemble that could hold its own with a rock band in front of an audience. The show commonly uses a local quartet to augment the production while on tour.

Cumpston, Kim and Garcia are the quartet’s serious Beatles fans.

“My third-grade teacher blasted Beatles music during cleanup hour, and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Garcia said, laughing. “My favorite songs are ‘Hey Jude,’ ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Yesterday.’”

“My dad played Beatles music when I was younger,” said Cumpston. “I have a Beatles poster on my bedroom wall.”

Her favorite album is Abbey Road and her favorite song is “Come Together.”

Kim was introduced to Beatles music by her father, and her favorite tune is “Eleanor Rigby.”

The ASA string quartet performed for former Secretary of State Madeline Albright at the Phoenix Art Museum last year.

“In My Life — A Musical Theatre Tribute to The Beatles” plays at 7:30 p.m. April 17 at Theater Works.

Tickets are $28-$31 and may be purchased online at www.theaterworks.org or by calling 623-815-7930. Theater Works is in the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Peoria, 8355 W. Peoria Ave. The show is appropriate for all ages.

Arizona School for the Arts is located in Phoenix and was founded in 1995 as one of the first charter schools in Arizona.


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