Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sept 1: Mike Dempsey and Friends Return with Music from the Movies

Mike Dempsey returns to the Soo Theatre for
"Mike Dempsey and Friends Go to the Oscars",
on Thur., Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m.

Mike Dempsey has created yet another musical production for the entertainment of our local communities, this one called "Mike Dempsey and Friends Go to the Oscars." This performance will take place at the Soo Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are now available at the Soo Theatre, 534 Ashmun St.

Large audiences enjoyed his last two Soo Theatre productions, one featuring the music of George Gershwin in 2009, and one featuring the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein last year. The singers and instrumentalists and narrator of the last two years will be joined this year by even more talented artists. And as in the last two Dempsey productions, the artists are all giving freely of their time and talents as a fund-raiser for the Soo Theatre Project, for which the local theatre is very grateful.

Dempsey was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie. He attended St. Mary’s and Sault High Schools. He received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University, and then served in the U.S. Army. He has been the choral director at Pontiac Central and Pontiac Northern High Schools, and also served as choir director at several Oakland County area churches.

In addition, he has been music director for such large-scale musicals as South Pacific, Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, The Music Man, Kiss Me Kate, Superman, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Mame, My Fair Lady, Gypsy, Sweet Charity, Lil’ Abner, and The Sound of Music.

In 1995 he founded his singing group “Mike Dempsey & Friends.” In addition to writing the script and arranging the music, Mike serves as pianist. This small group has performed composer-themed musicals throughout Southeastern Michigan, and the Sept. 1 show is another of these.

Dempsey has been married to Ellen for 54 years, and they have three sons. As a published composer he is a member of ASCAP and was chosen to accompany Tony award-winner Anna Maria Alberghetti in a Detroit area performance. He is delighted to return to his hometown and the Soo Theatre, where he has many happy memories. Dempsey is looking forward to an evening at the movies with his Sault audience. Long-time Sault residents may recall Dempsey’s parents, Athaleen and Tom. Tom's brother Pat will be on stage this time, also, playing the part of Sammy Cahn. Pat was also born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and is a music professional in Port Huron.

Other artists performing in this musical production are: Karen Hughes Beacom of Pickford, local soprano star of many Soo Theatre productions and both of the other Dempsey shows; Maureen Delaney-Lehman, another fine soprano, who has sung in the other local Dempsey shows; Eric Shaw, professional tenor coming in from Toronto for the third year, who was also born and raised in the two Saults; Linda Freeze, mezzo-soprano, coming from the Detroit area for the first time, who has sung in other Dempsey productions including his one-woman show featuring the music of Judy Garland; and John Young, baritone, coming for the third year from the Detroit area. The narrator is the Sault's own Tom Ewing of Sovereign Communications. Instrumentalists are Gig Stewart, double bassist from Petoskey, and local percussionist Eric Gadzinski.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students, $5 for children 12 and under. Group rates are available. Tickets are on sale at the Soo Theatre, 534 Ashmun St. in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. For more information, call the theatre at (906) 632-1930 or visit our website at Poster for the event

Audience members will know most, if not all, of the music being performed at this show, and will sometimes be invited to sing along with the piano. The words will be provided. Please plan to attend and enjoy this wonderful evening of movie music.

Check the Soo Theatre Project website at and follow us on Facebook - Soo Theatre Project, Inc.

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