Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. to Star in "Up, Up & Away: a musical fable"

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. are returning to the theater to star in Up, Up & Away: a musical fable.

The new musical will have its world premier on Thursday, January 21 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA, outside of Los Angeles. McCoo and Davis, two of the five original members of the Fifth Dimension, will be performing with their group The Next Dimension.

Brad Wavra, senior VP of Live Nation, said "Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. are not only music icons, they are also kind, wonderful people. We at Live Nation are thrilled and honored to present Up, Up & Away! a musical fable, a reimagined take on timeless pop classics."

Mitch Gershenfeld of the McCallum Theatre added "The McCallum Theatre is proud to be presenting the premiere of Up, Up & Away! a musical fable. These two artists represent the pinnacle of the music of a generation, and to have them recreate the iconic music that we all know and love, will bring a very special kind of joy to our audience."

McCoo and Davis, seven time Grammy Award winners, are teamed with the new musical group, The Next Dimension, to realize pop classics, including Up, Up and Away, Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In, Worst That Could Happen, You Don't Have to be a Star (To be in My Show), MacArthur Park, Help!, Blackbird, Midnight Hour, One Less Bell (to Answer), and The Man That Got Away in this tale about two aspiring singers, who met, fell in love, and hold each other close through a lifetime of musical and personal challenges. Up, Up and Away! a musical fable also includes tributes to fellow music legends, including the original 5th Dimension and The Beatles.

The show marks a long-awaited return to musical theater for the husband and wife duo. Ms. McCoo appeared on Broadway in the revival of the musical Show Boat, starring in the role of Julie, while Mr. Davis starred in the hit musical, Blues in the Night, and in the role of James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls.

The musical is the brainchild of Nic Mendoza, who developed his love and appreciation for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.'s music as a child, listening to his mother's albums. Mendoza, approached Kathy Ireland, who is producing, with his idea for the musical and for guidance in conceptualizing the production.

"Duke Ellington is a great inspiration to me. He once said, 'Music is my mistress.' I understand that, because all my life music has been one of my great passions. My grandfather was a brilliant composer, my father and family have worked in the music industry for generations. I grew up listening to my Mom's recordings of Marilyn and Billy, loving their talent, voices and harmonies. Our goal is to establish a new group sound, led by our stars, which captures extraordinary vocal blends, with an homage to Marilyn and Billy's history. Producing Up, Up & Away! for them is the realization of a childhood dream," said Nic Mendoza.

"When Nic brought this idea to us, I thought how terrific this would be for people who love the music, and Nic's generation as well. What Marilyn and Billy, The Next Dimension, Nic and the SWC producing team have accomplished, is entertaining, moving in its music, moving in its heart and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Maybe that's why we love great artists; they take us Up, Up and Away!" said Kathy Ireland, executive producer and Mendoza's mentor.

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis remarked, "We were thrilled when Kathy presented us with Nic's vision of Up Up and Away! a musical fable. The genius of this concept, surprised and excited us. The musical production gives us the pleasure of sharing experiences, and timeless music with audiences of every age. It is not the story of The 5th Dimension… it is indeed a fable."