2004-09-24 / Columnists

A Wave Review

Do you remember dancing with friends to the Supremes

Do you remember dancing with friends to the Supremes’ “Baby Love”, or singing along with “Heat Wave” or “Please Mr. Postman”? If you recognize these song titles you are part of a generation of music lovers who have really been having a nostalgic good time up at Fort Tilden for the past two weekends. If these songs are unfamiliar, you will be in for a treat when you hear and enjoy the great music of the golden age of Motown for the first time. The Rockaway Theatre Company opened its annual musical revue,

The Rockaway Café on September 9, and smiling audiences at the Post Theater have been singing and clapping along with their favorite Motown tunes for two phenomenal weekends. If you’re a fan of Motown music, you are sure to hear your favorite songs covered by an incredibly talented RTC group of singers and performers.

After the matinee performance on Sunday, Sept. 19, a most exuberant audience member, Gary Arzberger, of Maspeth exclaimed, “I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying this show. I was here last year when they saluted The Beatles and I thought it was the greatest musical revue of the kind I had ever seen. This year I am equally impressed. I couldn’t stay in my seat. I had to be on my feet moving right along with the Temptations. The band is absolutely amazing . They sound exactly like the original band that backed up these recordings. I was here Friday night and I had to come back again today with some friends. I’m definitely coming again with my wife, next week.”

Walter Birkhold, the band’s leader, appreciates the incredible response the music has been getting. “The guys are really having a blast”, said Walter. Rob Koch, keyboard player added, “I’m having so much fun, I never want this gig to end”.

Perhaps the reason why the sound of Motown has such a great effect on people is summed up by Rachel Castro and Juliette Pannone, (two very talented young RTC vocalists), in the finale: “You Can Feel it All Over!”

It’s not too late to get in on the fun. While the theater will be dark this Friday and Saturday in honor of the Jewish Holiday, there will be a very special Matinee Benefit performance of Rockaway Café ’04 on Sunday, September 26 at 2PM. The proceeds from this show will be donated to the North Shore Animal League America, whose representatives will be bringing some very special puppies along with them for the occasion. If you can’t make it on Sunday there will be performances at 8:00PM on Sept 30 and October 1, and 2. This marks the end of the official Rockaway Theatre Company season, so if you miss this one you will really be out in the cold until the spring. Don’t delay. Call 718-850-2450 for reservations.

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