‘Leading Ladies’ to make debut

Published 10:26 am Friday, August 29, 2008

“Brock Besse’s Leading Ladies of Austin” make their debut Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12 and 13 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.

Directed and produced by Besse, now in his second year as the Northwestern Singers’ director, the group includes Alice Holst, Pat Hulet, Faye Bollingberg and Nicole Krautbauer.

All are members of the Northwestern Singers and have appeared in other musical productions in the city.

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The show promises to be an enjoyable evening of song, complete with a live orchestra comprised of local musicians.

The foursome of vocalists will perform a variety of music, including Broadway show tunes, jazz, sacred, country, Celtic and more.

“It’s a combination of solos, duets and the quartet,” Holst said.

The performers plan a 90-minute concert, and they have been rehearsing for a month in preparation for the show.

Besse asked the four vocalists in May to consider doing a show of their own. “But it didn’t take shape until June,” Holst said.

“He said this might be a fun project for us to work on and here we are,” Bollingberg said.

Not only are the performers members of the Northwestern Singers, but they have performed in church choirs, Summerset Theatre productions and In Synque (Holst, Bollingberg and Hulet).

According to Bollingberg, “One of the neat things about this is that it is all live music. It’s individuals, it’s the quartet, and it’s a 22-piece orchestra. That individuality is unique to this show.”

Each of the performers will perform three solos.

Besse picked out some of the songs to be sung. The performers picked out the rest.

The performers say they are “excited” about their debut.

“I always wanted to do something like this,” Hulet said.

“The title of the show is ‘Brock Besse’s Leading Ladies,’ but I believe there are a lot of leading ladies performing in Austin,” Holst said. “It certainly isn’t just us. There are so many wonderful female vocalists performing in Austin.”

“We just hope to represent them all as well as we can,” Hulet said. “We happen to be the lucky ones to try this.”

A native of Austin, Hulet has been performing since she was 3 years old.

“It’s just so much fun to have all this music in town,” Hulet said. “The opportunity to perform in Austin is fantastic.”

Their director has encouraged the performers to “think about” a sequel and pick out their music over the winter.

“I think we have to see how it goes this year,” Bollingberg said.

Tickets are $12 and available in advance at Hy-Vee Food Store, B&J Bar and Grill and Hardy Geranium, all in Austin, or Tone Music in Albert Lea, as well as the Paramount Theatre box office 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday or at the box office the nights of the performances.

For more information, call the Paramount Theatre at 434-0934 or go online www.paramounttheatre.org.