Smooth rhythms and the polished voice of Jessica Baldwin filled the air. As part of the new Stage Door Cabaret Series at the theatre, the Jess Baldwin Quintet played their harmonious beats to an enthusiastic crowd in the intimate setting on stage the Peoples Bank Theatre.
For the Cabaret Series, not only are the artists on stage, but so is the audience. This gives each and every crowd member a close and personal view of the show while enjoying the amazing sound that the stage space provides.
“The performance by the Jess Baldwin Quintet was as excellent a show as could be seen anywhere in the world, and it was right here in Marietta. We are so fortunate to have a musician of her talents,” said Drew Tanner, Marketing Director of the Peoples Bank Theatre. “We’re also lucky to have such an outstanding crew, led by our Theatre Manager Chuck Swaney and Technical Director Brad Smith, who are able to transform the stage into a nightclub with an atmosphere like no other. It’s always fun at the end of the evening to lift the stage curtain, revealing the theatre itself to those who may have forgotten for a moment just where they were.”
The setting itself was stunning with the excellent stage lighting and fragrant flowers and décor on the round tables covered in linens. You can cozy up to a significant other or take it all in with a group of friends while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine. When the music starts, you can’t help but believe you’ve traversed to a favorite restaurant in a modern day big city or a beloved nightclub from the early 20th century.
The Jess Baldwin Quintet also made it easy to feel like you were traveling through time as they performed songs that spanned the ages (and the genres) – everything from Esperanza Spalding’s “What a Friend” to Hoagy Carmichael’s “Two Sleepy People” and the tune made famous in the Wizard of Oz, “Over the Rainbow” (with Jessica’s added touch in composition that gives it an energetic jazzy feel).
“The guys I work with are simply fantastic,” said Jessica Baldwin, “Such great musicians. All very accomplished – and a blast to be around, too. I love getting to hang out with them on stage just as much as I love playing music with them.”
There was even some John Mayer, Bjork and Bach. Yes, Johann Sebastian Bach. If this last one peaks your interest, as, just like most others, you typically hear the name Bach and think of a classical composition, think again and look up the song “Kaffee” or “Coffee Cantata.” It’s a fun story that tells about a young girl and her addiction to coffee on her way to being married.
“Local musicians have plenty of places around here to create a pleasant ambience for a meal or to energize dancers at a bar,” said Baldwin, “but we haven’t really had any venues that let us do some of the other things music can do: enlighten, comfort, empower, transport, transform. Some of those things can only be done when both the venue and the audience hold and protect an intimate, sacred space, and that’s exactly what they did for the cabaret performance. It was so satisfying to make music in that way with, and in, my own community.”
Overall, if you’re looking for an enjoyable evening in a lovely setting, check out The Stage Door Cabarets at Peoples Bank Theatre. The shows will continue at the theatre on regular intervals with different artists at each cabaret.
Baldwin also stated, “I am so thankful that the folks in charge at Peoples Bank Theatre are just as passionate about using the stage to feature local talent as they are about bringing nationally-known talent closer to home. It’s no small task to put those Stage Door evenings together. They take more setup than some of the national acts. Brad Smith, Chuck Swaney, Geoff Coward, Hunt Brawley, Drew Tanner, and the rest of the team really work hard to make them special events for our community.”
For a list of upcoming shows and to purchase tickets, visit PeoplesBankTheatre.com.