OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Streetlamp, GR launch tour today, and at Chicago's Park West for weekend

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-04-17T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Streetlamp, GR launch tour today, and at Chicago's Park West for weekendBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

When Star Plaza Theatre CEO, President and Talent Buyer Charlie Blum celebrated his 25th anniversary with the stage venue at Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville earlier this month, he didn't have any second thoughts about who he wanted to entertain his guests.

Blum hosted a private bash, a night of magic, music and dancing, in the second floor ballroom of the Radisson Hotel Saturday, April 5 and the party featured entertainment headliners Under the Streetlamp and Gentleman's Rule, fresh from their nationally aired PBS specials and prior to their new U.S. tour.

Among those who gathered at the fete were former host of Nickelodeon's "Double Dare" and now Food Channel host and producer Marc Summers (who will also be guest host on ABC's "The View" on Friday), publicist to the stars Liz Rosenberg (who reps Madonna, Cher and Michael Buble) and entertainment attorney to the stars Steve Krone, among other glitterati.

To celebrate the premiere of both of the singing groups new TV specials that debuted last month, Under the Streetlamp and Gentleman's Rule launch their 50-city U.S. concert tour today in Bloomington, Ind. at the Indiana University Auditorium, followed by Chicago dates this weekend, April 18 and 19 returning to the Park West nightclub. The tour concludes June 26 in Newark, N.J. at the NJPAC

With their unique style and modern "Rat Pack" persona, Under the Streetlamp brings the American Radio Songbook to a whole new level with the motto "Retro never sounded so now," courtesy of these four talented and charismatic former cast members of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "Jersey Boys."

Add to this excitement the equally entertaining 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.

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. Their 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 with guidance from the creator of Straight No Chaser, Dan Ponce, and Star Plaza Theatre's own 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.

Tickets to this weekend's 8 p.m. concerts Friday and Saturday are $55 and are available at (773) 929-5959 or jamusa.com

FYI: underthestreetlamp.com and gentlemansrule.com

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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