October 2, 2008

Lively Acts to Take Stage at Lewis Family Playhouse

Staff Report

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - A couple of energetic acts will liven up the stage this weekend at the Lewis Family Playhouse.

On Saturday the Grammy-nominated swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will take the stage at 8 p.m.

On Sunday, at 2 p.m., the comedy group Capitol Steps will offer its pointed viewpoints on politics and the nation.

Tickets for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's one-night engagement are on sale for $51.50.

The high-energy group, dressed to the nines in zoot suits and taking up where the jazz greats of the 1940s and 1950s left off, swing with their signature hits, "Mr. Pinstripe Suit,""You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)," and "I Wanna Be Like You."

The band, which began as a three-piece jazz, blues and swing combo, took its name when founder Scott Morris met blues guitarist Albert Collins after one of his concerts. Collins signed a poster, "To Scotty, The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy."

"When it came time to name this band," said Morris, "I didn't really have a choice. I felt like it was handed down to me."

The trio has expanded into seven musicians who share a love for all things "swing."

They are Kurt Sodergren on drums, Dirk Shumaker on string bass, Andy Rowley on saxophone, Glen "The Kid" Marhevka on trumpet, Karl Hunter on saxophone and clarinet and Joshua Levy on piano, with Morris as the bandleader.

The group has released seven CDs, including two Christmas collections. The band is working on a tribute to Cab Calloway performing the jazz great's hits at their concerts.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performed at Super Bowl XXXIII with Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder and has sold more than three million albums.

Tickets for the satirical group Capitol Steps on Sunday are $31.50 for general admission, $29.50 for seniors and $25.50 for youth.

The members of the group started in 1981 after serving as congressional staffers.

They take good-natured hits at Capitol Hill and the Oval Office, recording 28 albums.

They have appeared on "Good Morning America," the "Today Show,""20/20,""Entertainment Tonight,""Nightline," and "Inside Politics."

They are regular contributors to National Public Radio and its "Politics Takes a Holiday" specials.

Among their most recent and topical compositions are "Biden Times" about the vice presidential candidate's colorful resume, "The Green, Green Grass of Nome," explaining Sarah Palin's position on global warming, and "Obama Mia!" discussing the media's love for Barack Obama.

The Lewis Family Playhouse is at 12505 Cultural Center Drive in the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center.

Information about both weekend performances is available through www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com or (909) 477-2752.

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