Levitt Pavilion launches 38th summer season
Published 5:01 pm, Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Music returns to the Levitt Pavilion for another season Sunday, when The Cast of Beatlemania, kicks off nearly 60 nights of free entertainment at 7 p.m.
This is the first time this Connecticut-based band will perform at the Westport venue on the banks of the Saugatuck River, said band member Carlo Cantamessa, who plays the part of John Lennon in this Beatles tribute band.
"We're looking forward to it," he said.
Cantamessa, who lives in Wolcott, has been with the band since the late 1980s. He joined at about the same time as Lenie Colacino, who is the Paul McCartney of the group.
The band actually stretches back to the early 1980s, when former cast members of the Broadway show "Beatlemania" came together to recreate the Beatles experience. Since then, Cantamessa said this international touring group has been around the world three times, stepping onto every continent, except Australia, and performed throughout the United States.
"We couldn't do a show without him," Cantamessa said of Templeton.
Every year, she said, a careful screening process gets under way to build the schedule of performers, who consist of returning favorites, big names and emerging talent.
"We try to give everyone a fair opportunity," she said. "And then we pick what we think are the best."
Although music is an important component to this outdoor summer series, the schedule also includes dance and comedy acts and children's performers.
As to styles, there are few genres that are left untouched, as one can find acts that lean toward pop, folk, rock, fusion, classical, jazz or big band -- and others. There also will be several Pavilion debuts this year, as well as a number of gala events that help to raise the funds that keep the other evenings free.
For instance, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will be performing July 10 and The Doobie Brothers will be arriving July 28. Both of those evenings are ticketed events.
Over the years, Walsh said one of her greatest satisfactions is watching an audience enjoy themselves. And, now, she said she has seen multiple generations come out to these evenings.
"It makes me feel good," she said of moments when a visitor makes sure to tell her that they are now bringing their grandchildren to the same spot where they once brought their children.
The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts is at 40 Jesup Road (behind the Westport Public Library). Show runs from Sunday to Aug. 28. Most evenings are free. 203-341-1143. For a complete schedule, and information on the gala fundraisers, visit www.levittpavilion.com.