'Well-Strung' Returns to The Palm Cabaret PV
Gary R. Beck - Beck's Best

February 26, 2017

The immensely popular men, a New York City based string quartet, have returned this season with new music and a new show.

Known for packing them in, the group is once again comprised of these four artists/musicians/singers: on first violin Edmund Bagnell, second violin Christopher Marchant, viola Trevor Wadleigh and cello Daniel Shevlin. Each is remarkable and terrifically talented in addition to being fine singers. They are self-named "The Singing String Quartet". The amount of talent on the stage is beyond imagination and the audience knows immediately that they are witnessing a stunning collaboration on stage to be treasured. Their strings, wild at times, scream through the air.

Their genre is combining classical music with pop songs, starting with one or the other and mashing into the next. The first was a Mozart piece which moved into "Call Me Anytime". The group derives its unique blend of vocals and strings with their blending pop with classical music flowing nearly unnoticed. One can see that much planning, writing and rehearsing is needed to successfully accomplish this feat which seems to be unique to their ensemble. They made their Broadway debut with "Broadway Backwards" where men sang tunes originally written for women and vice versa. In tonight's show, sometimes the entries are played by strings only; other times vocals of one or more of them are featured.

"POPssical" is the clever name they have derived to describe their style. These men are so individually talented there is no reason or need to discuss each separately. As a quartet, they work off each other complementary. One can watch the energy of their eyes going among members resulting in coordination and unison. This constructive teamwork comes only from repetitive rehearsals and performances. "Hard Candy Christmas" was a stringed success story of which writer Dolly Parton would be proud. They touched on Aaron Copland, Taylor Swift's "Mean", "Ave Maria" and Radiohead's "Creep" ["You're so very special. But I'm a creep. I don't belong here"].

Their four stringed instruments delivered without vocals "I Will Always Love You", as impressive as the vocalized Dolly Parton or Whitney Houston smashes. Their version took the breath out of the crowd. It was beyond beautiful; it was superb. The group has been making new music and touring internationally. In 2016, they performed "Chelsea's Mom". And just like the Fountains of Wayne song "Stacy's Mom" it parodies, the chorus of the song is, "Chelsea's Mom has got it going on."

A fiddle? No. Violins? Yes: "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" was wildly rousing and displayed their skill and showmanship. "We lost many great artists in 2016. Here is one." They slowly stepped into Leonard Cohen's history and paid homage with his "Hallelujah". For various reasons, teardrops formed on some faces of the gathered. Well-Strung humbly played and sang its salute. In a humorous note, "This portrays the root of what we do", they joyously frolicked into "Do-Re-Mi" and sadly the evening had ended. Their achievement guarantees a continuation of sold-out shows nightly as in years past.

The group was conceived by producer Mark Cortale and Chris Marchant. Read more about Well Strung.

You can catch Well Strung at the Palm Cabaret on February 26 and March 3 at 7:00 pm and on February 28, March 4, 5 and 7 at 9:30 pm.

Tickets are available online at The Palm Cabaret or at The Palm Box Office which opens daily at 11:00 am. Telephone is (322)222-0200. Email is tickets@thepalmcabaret.com.

The Palm Cabaret and Bar is located at Olas Altas 508 in Vallarta's Old Town Romantic Zone.

For more reviews of performances in Puerto Vallarta, visit More of Beck's Best: Theater, Cabaret and More!

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