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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Classic Soul at the Athenaeum Theatre

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The last time you may have encountered the combined work of Bob Harbin and John Austin Butsch would have been back when The American Cabaret Theatre still inhabited the historic Athenaeum Theatre.

Times have changed and the two men have picked up the beautiful and talented Joyce Licorish to bring you the musical production “Classic Soul” April 2 – 11 at The Athenaeum Theatre, 401 East Michigan St.

The production is subtitled ‘The Greatest Hits of Rhythm & Blues and Motown’ as that is exactly what they promise to deliver – Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Gladys Knight, the Four Tops, the Supremes, the Temptations and many more.

From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame “Soul is music that was aroused out of the Black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and Rhythm & Blues into a form of funky, secular testifying” and the Athenaeum will be rocking and rolling with the singing and dancing of the most talented Indianapolis soulsters.

Licorish, also producer, leads the nine member cast of Cessalee Ophilia Smith-Stovall (returning from Chicago for this production), Tori Gowdy, D’Keisha Bryant, Alaina Woods, Deaon Smith, Karlton D. Turner, Phillip Armstrong, and James Walker, Jr.

“John and I have been aching to work together again and when Cassie Stockamp called about bringing some shows back to the Athenaeum, we took that as a sign that the time is right,” says Bob Harbin who went out and formed Bobdirex as a production company to tackle the show. “We still didn’t have enough business experience but knew Joyce has produced shows under her own company plus the girl can ‘sang!’ The three of us are lucky to be together.”

The trio seems perfectly matched to bring Indianapolis all the excitement that only a ‘Soulful’ night on the town can bring.

“Classic Soul” is for the entire family.

The production will run for two consecutive weekends, April 2-4 and April 9-11. Tickets are $20 with some discounts for groups of 20 or more and with family deals on Sundays for all tickets purchased in advance. Kids 18 and under 1/2 price on Sundays.

For more information, call (317) 280-0825 or visit www.bobdirex.com.

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