Big Band show making Escondido stop

By Emily Sorensen

Take a nostalgic musical trip back in time with “In the Mood,” performing two shows, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

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The touring musical revue show, now in its 19th season, features costumed and choreographed performers singing and dancing to the music of over 40 songs performed live on stage, like “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B),” “In The Mood,” “Tuxedo Junction,” “Sing, Sing, Sing” and more.

“It’s a little like theater, and a little like a concert,” said Bud Forest, music director, producer and pianist/conductor for “In the Mood.” Forest, a former Julliard student who served as a pianist in the Air Force’s The Singing Sergeants, initially formed what would grow into “In the Mood” from an interest in the music of the 1940s. Initially a group of three women singing The Andrews Sisters songs, “In the Mood” has grown and evolved over the past 19 years into the revue it is today. “It grew over the years,” said Forest. “I never thought that in 2013, I’d still be doing it.”

“In the Mood” has toured with the USO, performed as part of the entertainment for the 53rd Presidential Inauguration Ball for President Clinton, and was the national touring event for Spirit of ‘45, a national project that recognizes and celebrates veterans who fought in World War II.

“The 1940s was really the last time everyone in the country were all listening to the same music,” said Forest. “It’s an iconic part of our history. [‘In the Mood’] indicates and celebrates this.” Despite the focus on 1940s music, Forest said the show is enjoyable for everyone, “from an 8-year-old kid, to an 88-year-old grandmother.”

“It really is a family show,” said Forest. “Bring everyone.”

Forest and his show tour for roughly 20 weeks out of the year, 10 weeks in the fall, and between 10 and 12 weeks in the spring. Forest conducts the orchestra and plays the piano in the show. “That way I can maintain its quality and consistency,” said Forest. The show is changed up a little every year, but not drastically, said Forest. “There is some new music this year. It’s a matter of keeping the quality in the show.”

Tickets for “In the Mood” range from $29 - $49, and are available online at www.artcenter.org/performances/ or www.Tickets.com, by calling 800-988 -4253, and in person at the theater, located at 340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido.

   
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