Swing’s the thing in “The All Night Strut!,” a vocal jazz revue happening this weekend at Eden Prairie’s Performing Institute of Minnesota Arts High School (PiM).
The public is invited to attend all three performances, which will be held in the school’s White Box Theatre. Shows are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 15, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16. Tickets are $5 for students and $12 for adults and can be purchased online here.
“‘The All Night Strut’ moves through the Depression, World War II, and the post-war boom in a two-act musical celebration of the 1930s and ’40s filled with jazz, blues, bebop, and American songbook standards,” said Rob Thompson, the show’s director and the school’s director of communications and development.
“Weaving together the work of legendary songwriters such as Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Loesser, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Cab Calloway, and the Gershwins, the story moves through time and place to highlight a slick slice of yesteryear and captures a beloved American era.”
Cast member and eleventh grader Greta C. said the show will both entertain the audience and artistically transport them back in time. “I love the costumes, the hair —they make me feel like we are in the 40s, and the way we have set the White Box like a nightclub, it is so fun!”
Thompson said he’s proud of the 12 company members for performing at such a high level. “This music is so challenging, the harmonies so tight, and this company has never shied away from the challenge,” he said. “They have worked hard, and you can see, and hear that in their performance.”
He said that given the students are only a couple of months into the school year, their abilities are particularly impressive. “To approach this material in such a short amount of time is daunting, but I never thought, ‘it won’t happen,’” he said. “This group of students has always exceeded my expectations.”
Thompson also gave a shout-out to the “fantastic” three-person crew.
Jimmy Deignan, the show’s vocal director, said it makes him incredibly happy to see how his students have grown and developed as they learned the music and prepared for the show.
“It is such a joy as a teacher to see your student physically change as they approach a challenging part in the music,” Deignan said. “To see them relax and prepare for the moment, and then the moment happens and they realize it worked, just the way we rehearsed.”
PiM Arts High School is located at 7255 Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie.
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