The discography of the Beatles is like a literary anthology.
With just a few lyrical brush strokes, Lennon, McCartney, and their mates made us mourn the lonely death of Eleanor Rigby, taste the strange bittersweet kiss of the girl who came in through the bathroom window, and wonder what life would feel like were we living in a yellow submarine.
The lyrics presented the images that went straight to our hearts: shot us into the sky, dropped us to our knees, danced us dizzy, and brought us back.
The Magical Mystery Tour, choreographed by Jill Eathorne Bahr and performed by Charleston Ballet Theatre, is exhilarating for that Fab Four storytelling and for the symbolic motion that flows naturally from it.
The North Charleston Performing Arts Center, a venue much larger than CBT’s Black Box Theatre on King Street, lent the show a fresh look and sound. A few songs had been swapped out and the dancing tweaked and polished in spots since Mystery Tour‘s debut last year, but the classic bits were preserved, as they should be.
Stephen Gabriel danced “Rocky Raccoon” spot on — cowboy burlesque from the opening note to the close — and the bluesy twang of Memphis musician Matt Tutor’s cover of “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” made the sassy strut of Andrea DeVries ever so much more tantalizing.
The dance interpretations of the classic Beatles songs were only part of the treat, however. Those who dipped out early missed out on the second half of the ticket: an intimate mini-concert of Beatles covers and country rock by Nashville-based One Flew South.
The trademark harmonies of One Flew South inspired impromptu dance from more than one member of the audience and kept the crowd grooving. The band, featuring Lowcountry favorite Eddie Bush and boasting the band’s early gems like “My Kind of Beautiful” and “Last of the Good Guys,” is an act to keep an eye on in years to come. There’s a bit of the classic Eagles sound in the way their voices mesh, as well as some full hearted country grit.
While the back-to-back performances of Charleston Ballet and One Flew South definitely made for an entertaining evening, it also left at least this reviewer wondering how cool it would be to see both acts on stage together.
Like the proverbial chocolate slipping into the peanut butter, they might just be two great tastes that taste even better when taken together in one bite.
Food for thought.