Thursday, March 28, 2013

FACE2FACE: A TRIBUTE TO TWO MUSIC ICONS


As musical icons go, Elton John and Billy Joel would have to be at the top of anybody's billboard chart.  If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then the tribute bands of Greg Ransom and Mike O'Brien are paying their homage with "Face2Face," capturing the energy and spirit of these two legends in a four show weekend at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre of Bridgeport.

The house will be rocking on Saturday, April 6 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and again on Sunday, April 7 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. as these two performers return to the Cabaret by popular demand.  Each man will perform a solo set, backed by their own killer bands, and then join together for a high octane spectacle of sound.

As successful artists go, with more than 250 million records sold, Sir Elton John is known for such hits as his personal salute single to the late Princess of Wales, Diana, in "Candle in the Wind," as well as "Rocket Man," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and "Tiny Dancer."  As a flamboyant superstar from across the pond, he has been popular since his debut as a singer/songwriter in the early 1970's.

Come discover Greg Ransom behind the big glasses and the wild and fancy costumes and the over-the-top hats as he garners rave reviews for his rendition as the superstar himself.  Since the mid-1990's, he's been sitting at pianos in hotel bars, casinos, nightclubs and fairs, giving audiences an up close and personal performance, singing such songs as "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Blue Eyes" and "Your Song." Surely some of your favorites will be on his play list.

As to Billy Joel, the original "Piano Man," his first hit song four decades ago, he has propelled his way to unprecedented success.  Ironically a recent episode of the television show "How I Met Your Mother" featured his song "The Longest Time," as the two lead characters Barney and Ted, played by Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Raynor,  harmonized with versions of themselves in the future. Also in the news recently was Vanderbilt University freshman  Michael Pollack who got to rub elbows with his keyboard hero when he was invited on stage at a concert to play "New York State of Mind" while Joel sang along.

Mike O'Brien may favor the audience with such Billy Joel hits as "You May Be Right," "Don't Ask Me Why," "Movin' Out,"  "Tell Her About It," "An Innocent Man," "We Didn't Start the Fire" and "New York State of Mind."  Called the "real-deal Billy Joel," Mike O'Brien first heard his idol sing when he was a freshman in high school while he was in Boston at a dance.  He freely admits to falling in love with the "Piano Man" that night and his admiration has been constant.  He has been perfecting his act since he was 18 when he first worked at a piano bar.

For tickets ($29-39-49), call Downtown Cabaret Theatre, 263 Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport at 203-576-1636 or online at www.downtowncabaret.org.  Bring goodies to share at your table.

Let Greg Ransom and Mike O'Brien in their tribute to music icons Elton John and Billy Joel "take (you on) a holiday from the neighborhood."

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