“Remember the ’60s” returned to the Carolina Civic Center, where it had skipped a few beats while the center was being renovated. I’m sure the show brought back memories for a lot of people who had seen the show before in the same venue.
But, judging by the age of most of the audience members, most of them wouldn’t know what the ’60s looked like or sounded like if it sent them a video message on their phone.
It’s a good thing we had this production to educate them. Although I wasn’t around for the ’60s, I’ve certainly heard enough about the decade of civil rights, assassinations, Woodstock, the Vietnam War, LSD, the Beatles and hippies.
My parents were in college during that time. But the ’60s I heard about was a little different than the hazy experience others may remember. They were both interested in the cultural changes taking place during the decade, but they weren’t at the center of them. My father did a stint in the military and my mother wasn’t involved in any countercultural movements beyond campaigning for a few candidates.
“How can you know for sure?” you ask.
Trust me, my mother is not a hippie. The closest she got to San Francisco was Indiana.
The show spent a good deal of the three and a half hours dealing with the music of the ’60s, which was fine by me because most of the music was awesome. There were several groups that impersonated many big acts from the decade. With the help of some clever disguises, some of the singers performed multiple times as different musicians.
The show also surprised me with the amount of talent on-stage. All of the vocal groups and singers were good, but the group that impersonated the Temptations stood out. I also really enjoyed watching Etta James’ reincarnated.
I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Judging from the crowd’s vocal reaction on Sunday — actually, it was more like whoopin’ and hollerin’ — the show struck a good nerve and resonated with lots of folks.
Although the balcony, which is my favorite spot in the theater, was not opened, the turnout seemed healthy on a Sunday for a show that had already been performed twice that weekend.
But it all wasn’t fun and games. The show highlighted some of the most difficult parts of the ’60s as well as the fun musical parts. Folks who have seen this local yearly tradition know that it contains a touching tribute to a fallen soldier in Vietnam and deals with the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
Check the What’s Happening page for other events coming up next week including the Sleeping Beauty Ballet and The Catalinas and the Fantastic Shakers, both at GPAC and the North Carolina Children’s Theater at the Carolina Civic Center.