Added on 12-Jul-2007
Few rock vocalists are as highly acclaimed as Freddie Mercury, who along with guitarist Brian May, percussionist Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon, left an indelible impression and lasting influence in the world of popular music as the band Queen.
As such, it seems only fitting that Queen should be included in the canon of Endicott Performing Arts Center's classic rock productions (others have centered on the music of Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Jethro Tull).
Those previous productions were the creations of EPAC Artistic Director Patrick Foti, but this time the credit goes to Foti's son, Joseph, whose "Bohemian Rhapsody" premieres Friday night.
"He's stolen a few of my ideas," Joseph Foti joked about his father's productions.
"It actually doesn't feel like a downer," he said. "The love songs are just beautiful and contrast with the hard rock songs that rock out pretty good. Ending with 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is an up note."
All notes, up or otherwise, will be played by Paula Bacorn on keyboards and piano; Mike Whitney on guitar; Jake Bucher on guitar; Mike Cook on bass and Al Miele on drums, under the direction of Kris Gilbert.
Foti said the show has changed a lot from his original vision, which had full sets and props and scene changes.
"(The show) is pretty abstract. You're not going to see big set pieces and furniture and stuff like that. It's all very metaphoric and symbolic as well as simplistic in design. The projections and costumes kind of place you where you are," he said.
"It has turned into this very artsy type deal, and I am really happy the way it has turned out."
Of course the man whom many regard as the lifeblood of Queen was never far from Foti's mind during the creation of the show, which he said is the biggest he has done to date. Freddie Mercury's formidable singing and performing talents were silenced forever in 1991 when he died at age 45 of pneumonia resulting from AIDS.
"I try to keep a lot things in the spirit of 'Would Freddie like this?'" he said. "And I think Freddie would like it."
IF YOU GO
* What: The EPAC Repertory Company presents "Bohemian Rhapsody" featuring the music of Queen
* When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and July 20 and 21; 3 p.m. Sunday and July 22
* Where: Endicott Performing Arts Center, 102 Washington Ave., Endicott.
* Tickets: $15, seniors and ages 12 and under $10; available at the EPAC box office or by calling 785-8903
* Details: 785-8903, www.endicottarts.com