“Hot town! Summer in the city…It’s a pity that the days can’t be like the nights!”– The Lovin’ Spoonful 1966.
It’s Saturday night. Three supergroups are reminding baby boomers why they loved the 1960s. They are reprising their biggest hits at Kupferberg Center. This concert is just the latest in JES Entertainment’s strategy to bring more of the decade’s top performers to Queens.
Starting the evening, the Cowsills (who inspired the creation of the Partridge Family) poke fun at themselves as they offer charismatic smiles and great songs. Two brothers are wearing identical paisley shirts while their sister wears flowered slacks. The charmingly lighthearted music includes their biggest hit. It’s often mistakenly called “I Love the Flower Girl,” but is officially, “The Rain, the Park and Other Things.” They sing “Indian Lake (is the scene you should make…).” Unabashedly, the guys tilt their heads forward, showing sparse grey hair, then sing their 1969 hit version of “Hair.”
The second act onstage, the Lovin’ Spoonful, continues the warm and wonderful mood with “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice,” and “Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind?” The group coaxes the audience into whistling along with the lead singer for “What a Day for A Daydream.” They pay tribute to a sometimes forgotten musical style with “Jug Band Music” and “Nashville Cats.” Their set is also punctuated by a truly incredible solo by drummer Mike Arturi.
After intermission, the seven performers in “The Association” stand center stage. They’re dressed in white from their hats and vests right down to their shoes. They play their biggest hits including “Cherish,” “Windy,” and “Never My Love.” They also sing “Along Comes Mary,” confirming in a stage whisper that this song was indeed about a certain banned substance.
The evening’s success proves that the 1960s golden oldies “circuit” is alive and well. Can we ask PBS’s Denise Richardson? She’s one of the celebs introduced from the audience. Ms. Richardson has the enviable task of interviewing many of the era’s greats on public television.
As the show concludes, producer Gary Fuchs reminds the crowd about more legendary entertainers. Both Bobby Vinton and Ronnie Spector are heading to Queens this October for special headline performances.
For information call (718) 423-8394. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.