59E59 Theaters is known for bringing downtown theatre to the upper East side. Sometimes provocative, but always inventive, productions playing at 59E59 never cease to showcase the unbridled potential of Off-Broadway theater. Future jazz maestros The Anderson Twins are no strangers to 59E59 Theaters, once headlining every Thursday evening at the theaters’ bar. And this fall they are starring in their own production recreating the music of The Dorsey Brothers in The Anderson Twins Play The Fabulous Dorseys!
Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey were jazz musicians and fronted their own band, The Dorsey Brothers, until they fell out in 1935, disbanding their group and pursuing their own musical endeavors. The brothers reunited the band in 1945, made a biopic about their lives and had their own TV series. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, The Dorsey Brothers were among the most sought-after musicians in New York City. Tommy Dorsey died in 1956, with Jimmy Dorsey passing away in 1957. The Dorsey Brothers are still considered two of the most influential jazz artists and band leaders of the Big Band and Swing era.
Playing at venues such as The Blue Note and Lincoln Center, twins Pete and Will Anderson have already cemented a name for themselves in the jazz scene. Just like The Dorsey Brothers, The Anderson Twins have been playing since they were small children. And as leaders of their own sextet, they are the perfect candidates to bring story of The Dorsey Brothers to a stage.
The Anderson Twins Play The Fabulous Dorseys! is an exciting mixture of mixed media, showcasing the best and worst of The Dorsey Brothers. The Anderson Twins provide dialogue and the soundtrack as snippets of the film The Fabulous Dorseys tell the story of The Dorsey Brothers musical beginnings, rise as musicians and band leaders as well as how sibling rivalry kept them at odds since they were kids and ultimately led to the disbanding of the group at the height of their fame. The true star of this production is the music, which are not only jazz classics, but American standards. The theater is set up like a club complete with tables and patrons are allowed to bring in their drinks. Even if one was unfamiliar with the music of that era, they will still appreciate the wonderful live show of The Anderson Twins Sextet. Whether you are a jazz buff or novice, anyone that loves to hear music from real musicians will enjoy this production. I found it to be extremely entertaining.
Photos: Lynn Redmile