Three and a half stars
Northwest Airlines Pops;
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra;
Hilbert Circle Theatre; April 4-6
Michael Cavanaugh, with his audience-friendly style, was artfully “movin’ in” with an awesome five-man combo (particularly saxophonist John Scarpulla) and the ever-amazing ISO players as backups for a pleasing interpretive program of “the modern rock songbook.” Introspective, subtle and lyrical arrangements and orchestrations by Wayne Barker, Fred Barton and Steven Reineke delivered under Jack Everly’s musical direction marked this world premiere produced in association with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Lighting and stage designer Laura Schnyder, working with David Levy, created a unique system of sails across the upper stage to catch the lighting, deliver Cavanaugh on screen via instant video and generally waft us across a half century of music we all know and may connect with viscerally from our growing-up time. From Las Vegas clubs to stardom on Broadway in Twyla Tharp’s magnificent rendition of Billy Joel’s oeuvre, Cavanaugh is now synonymous with Movin’ Out.