Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 17, 2010

Classical Mystery Tour

Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Simsbury, CT
July 17, 2010
by Eric Sutter

Guest conductor Leonid Sigal was not daunted by the half hour rain delay before he joined the Classical Mystery Tour on stage with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. The Beatles tribute tour began in 1996 and has performed with more than 100 orchestras across the United States and around the world. Two of its members are original cast members of the Broadway Beatlemania show. It became a time to rock as they appeared in their early Beatles look of mop tops and dark suits singing "Got to Get You into My Life." "Yesterday" featured Paul (Glen Burtnik) singing and playing acoustic guitar accompanied by the swelling strings of the symphony. A quick costume change to their Sgt. Pepper's costumes brought in John (Jim Owen) on piano and a unison sing of 1967's "All You Need Is Love." Incidentally, Jim Owen is the brainchild behind the Classical Mystery Tour production.

"Penny Lane" featured the woodwinds, strings and soaring French horn lines of the Symphony which gave a high goose bump quotient. The sun broke through as George (Thomas Teeley) began the opening guitar sequence to "Here Comes the Sun." Blue skies showed through as the band rocked "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band." Classic hits "Eleanor Rigby" and "A Day In The Life" completed the first half.

The night sky revealed a silvery crescent moon as the tour resumed with "Hello, Goodbye." "I Am The Walrus" was effective with colorful kaleidoscope images projected from the canopy above the stage. "Yellow Submarine" was sung by Ringo (Chris Camilleri) with an audience sing-along complete with dancing children. The latter day Beatles look was evidenced with John in white suit on "Come Together" and George in denim on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." A notable guitar solo with attention to detail was well received. The quartet and symphony closed with the medley of "Golden Slumbers, "Carry That Weight" and "The End" and encored with "Hey Jude" and "Twist and Shout." A resounding cheer brought "The Beatles" out once more with the familiar guitar howl of "Can't Buy Me Love."