The British Invasion - Live on Stage to take over Clark State PAC

The classic music of the mid 1960s will be a part of The British Invasion - Live on Stage, a recreation of the music and a multi-media show capturing the hottest bands of the time at the Clark State Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Credit: Timothy Norris

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The classic music of the mid 1960s will be a part of The British Invasion - Live on Stage, a recreation of the music and a multi-media show capturing the hottest bands of the time at the Clark State Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Credit: Timothy Norris

The British are coming. This time, it will be with open arms, ears eager to listen and dancing feet.

Much like the teens of the mid-1960s embraced the fresh sounds of anything from the British Isles, that music has endured, found new fans and is still in demand.

“The British Invasion – Live on Stage” will capture the excitement with an immersive experience including a multimedia presentation at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are still available. The show is presented by the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

The movement began in late 1963 when four moptop guys from Liverpool, England, set off what became known as Beatlemania in their home country. Their appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964, spread the mania to the U.S., and soon practically anybody with a British accent and a guitar began appearing in the Top 40.

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This was a key time in U.S. culture. Not only did it help Americans still mourning the death of President John F. Kennedy, it would change the culture permanently as fever for anything British including other arts and fashion were in demand.

The audience will get a taste of the best of those bands including The Beatles; The Rolling Stones; Dusty Springfield; The Hollies; The Kinks; Manfred Mann; The Searchers; Gerry and the Pacemakers; The Zombies; Freddie and the Dreamers; and Herman’s Hermit’s who were all over the radio from 1963-67.

The cast is filled with a group of mostly 20-something performers who have embraced the era. This is the first big show for Teddy Grey, who plays a John Lennon-type in the show, saying it’s surreal going from living at home to waking up unsure of what state he’s in.

“We’re all playing characters and taking it in our direction,” said Grey. “Across the board, we’re all music nerds in the band. For me, I grew up with the Beatles and British Invasion music. My dad had a huge vinyl record collection.”

He mentioned the hardest part was musically backing up the female singers as the music is more challenging instrumentally, but they pull it off.

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Along with the music, a giant video screen will enhance the experience by projecting photos of the fashion and culture of the time and of the band.

Grey said to be prepared for the show’s big finale, which he calls a party-style medley of the music.

“It gets everyone on their feet, so get ready to dance,” he said.


HOW TO GO

What: “The British Invasion – Live on Stage”

Where: Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 South Fountain Ave., Springfield

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30

Admission: $32-60 plus fees

More info: www.pac.clarkstate.edu/shows/2021-2022-season/

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