OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Streetlamp, GR groups on PBS tonight with new TV concerts

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-03-04T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Streetlamp, GR groups on PBS tonight with new TV concertsBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

With their unique style and modern "Rat Pack" persona, Under the Streetlamp brings the American Radio Songbook to a whole new level in their second television special for PBS.

With the motto "Retro never sounded so now," these four talented and charismatic former cast members of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "Jersey Boys" starred in an electrifying concert captured on cameras last September before a live audience at our own Star Plaza Theatre.

Adding to the excitement is an equaling entertaining new televised concert showcasing the talent of Gentleman's Rule, the energetic 9-man a cappella group that performs timeless classics and contemporary hits as a favorite Chicagoland audience ticket.

Both of the new television special concerts are ready to air as a dual back-to-back viewing experience as "Under the Streetlamp: Let The Good Times Roll" and "Gentleman's Rule In Concert," both part of special programming premiering on PBS stations throughout this month.

Our own Lakeshore TV Channel 56 PBS station got to premiere both Sunday night. But if you missed them, both are airing again starting at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) on Chicago's WTTW PBS Channel 11.

Backed by an outstanding 10-piece band, singers Michael Ingersoll, Shonn Wiley, Michael Cunio and Christopher Kale Jones bring classic hits back to the millions of fans who fell in love with this music after originally hearing the songs. The 90-minute new Under the Streetlamp TV concert includes classic hits of the '50s, '60s and '70s with the perfect balance of tender ballads and uptempo classics, all done with the same signature harmonies and slick dance moves that have made them irresistible. The show also includes a musical tribute to "Jersey Boy" Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Billed as the next generation of a cappella entertainment, Gentleman's Rule, takes their unique style of music to a whole new level in their first television special for PBS, a 90-minute concert special airing at 9 p.m. tonight.

From the creator of Straight No Chaser, Dan Ponce, and Star Plaza Theatre's own Charlie Blum, who serves as the producer and manager of Under the Streetlamp, Gentleman's Rule blends their youthful style and outstanding vocals with timeless classics and contemporary hits. Their diverse music selections include songs by the legendary Manhattans, Bill Withers, The Rolling Stones, Rascal Flatts and the Spencer Davis Band, just to name a few.

The eight versatile and individually talented vocalists in Gentleman's Rule are Will Lockhart, Brent Mann, Luke Mechlin, Holland Nightenhelser, Jasper Smith, Jesse Townes, Andrew Morstein and TJ Breen. Based out of Chicago, the group is signed to Arena Child Records and released their first album, Act Accordingly, in 2012. The release coincided with a two-week run at Chicago's Royal George Theater, followed by a national tour paired with Under the Streetlamp.

To celebrate the premiere of both TV specials, Under the Streetlamp and Gentleman's Rule launch a 50-city U.S. concert tour on April 17 in Bloomington, Ind. at the Indiana University Auditorium, followed by Chicago dates April 18 and 19 returning to the Park West nightclub. The tour concludes June 26 in Newark, NJ at the NJPAC. FYI: underthestreetlamp.com and gentlemansrule.com

As for how to get tickets to any of the concerts for the new tour, tickets are being provided by making a donation to PBS during the TV specials airings tonight and throughout this month. (I'm told only if any concert seats remain following the PBS pledge drives, will remaining tickets then be sold at a later date.)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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