Monday, April 4, 2016


When you think of sweaters, the ones that button in the front for men, you might conjure up an image of that sweet crooner Perry Como or that friendly and gentle children’s television personality Mister Rogers.  Well move over Perry and Fred, there’s a new set of sweaters in the neighborhood.  The Connecticut Cabaret in Berlin are welcoming “The Cardigans,” a musical conceived by Rick Lewis, weekends until Saturday, May 6 and if you love the songs of the fifties this is just the jukebox show for you.

Think sock hops, homecoming dances, pep rallies, cute girls and clean cut guys. This quartet of recent college graduates who all are sons of ministers, all belonged to Alpha Mu Phi Pi fraternity, who never uttered a four letter word unless it was love, luck, nice or neat, are now embarking on their first musical tour. It’s time to leave their roots in Wooster, Ohio and take on the world, or at least, one hundred miles in any direction.

Imagine a barbershop quartet backed by a three piece combo, in this case The Delux Reverb, featuring Sean Lewis, Jamie “Fingers” Sherwood and Tim “Sticks” Urso married to the gang of great guys, Jayson Beaulieu, Rick Bennett, Jon Escobar and Anthony Galli.  As we learn about the lads and their squeaky clean history, they harmonize with a score of special sounds, songs like “Oop Shoop,” “Dream Lover,” “Kokomo,” “Venus” and “In the Still of the Night.”

Since love and ladies are never far from their minds, they croon a series of girl dedicated tunes like “Valerie,” “Gloria,”  “Oh Carol,” “Tammy” and “Sherry.”  They let the fun out of the box with a number dedicated to “Running Bear” who hopes to catch White Dove and a cutie “Beep Beep” where a little Nash Rambler locks “horns” with a giant Cadillac car. The audience is invited to sing-along as these mostly merry tunes float by, including a nod to Motown standards like “My Girl” lighting the way. There are a few sentimental platters like “Star-Crossed Lovers” and “Tears on My Pillow” as well as hits from the day like “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” and “Mack the Knife.” That great harmony rolls on.  Dressed in ruby red sweater, these guys sport perpetual smiles and give it their all, 110%. Director and producer Kris McMurray is ever your genial host at this musical dance party.

For tickets ($30), call CT Cabaret, 31 Webster Square Road, Berlin, off the Berlin Turnpike at 860-829-1248 or online at Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m.  Remember this is a cabaret and you are invited to bring snacks to share at your table or plan to buy cakes and drinks on site.

Put on your bobby socks and saddle shoes and sit back and enjoy a nostalgic journey to sock hop heaven.

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