'The Simon & Garfunkel Story'

Andrew Kruse-Ross

andrew kruse-ross | simon & garfunkel story | oct. 2017

Their music has been celebrated around the globe. In the 1960s the musical duo of Simon & Garfunkel championed folk rock and became counterculture icons, but at the height of their fame, they decided to split leaving legions of fans little chance of every seeing the duo perform live — until now.

“The Simon & Garfunkel Story" brings the songs of this legendary duo to the stage in what can only be described as the next-best-thing to seeing them actually reunite.

Receiving standing ovations across the globe, “The Simon & Garfunkel Story" comes to the Weidner Center on Friday, October 13.

Show Director, Dean Elliott, was kind enough to answer a few questions about the show from the D.C. airport, just moments before boarding a plane for London, England.

Dean, I believe you were the original Paul Simon — at least in this production — but this isn't the first time you've played the part of an impersonator of sorts. I believe you once performed as Buddy Holly; how did that previous role prepare you for your part in 'The Simon & Garfunkel Story'?

Correct, luckily there is a LOT more footage of Paul Simon than of Buddy Holly which makes for better research. Always when you play a character you have to be careful not to create a pastiche or stereotype, you must remember that you are playing a real person and there comes a responsibility to honor them correctly.

Now, a few years on, there are others now playing these parts. Was it difficult to pass this role onto another person and what is it that you look for as a director when casting the leads for this show?

Not at all, I love putting together the sound of Simon & Garfunkel! The most important thing is that the voices blend, without that we do not have a show.

It might be hard to count the exact number, but undoubtedly there are many that would have loved to witness this duo reunite, set aside their differences and continue producing music together, but that hasn't happened. These people have likely waited a long time to see something like this show take place; is there a sense of this when you're on tour?

Absolutely, when they stopped performing it left a huge hole where these songs were not being heard. This is now the only place to hear them and done correctly in a theatrical setting.

You've taken this show across Europe, Africa, Australia and beyond to considerable acclaim. I wonder how the early response has been in North America and how does it compare with audiences in other countries?

It's the same everywhere we go. People go CRAZY for it. It's a testament to the duo, Paul Simon's songwriting and our team that audiences worldwide unite with their love of this show.

This show is labeled as a musical, but from what I've been able to see online, it seems very much more like a concert. Is the music the driving force behind this show or is there a deeper storyline that I've not yet witnessed?

One reviewer called it a doco-musical. No one 'plays' Paul or Art but the show has narration, video content and tells their story against the backdrop of a bigger story which runs throughout the 1960s.

The show's been referred to as 'a trip down memory lane' and incorporates visual elements into the show to do so. Can you tell us a little about these elements?

When we work-shopped the show, we realized early on that their music spanned the period of the '60s, which was a very important decade for social and political change. The songs sit in that context and we embellish on this by providing images and videos that take people right back to the '60s when they first heard Simon & Garfunkel.

Is it fair to say, you're a fan of Simon & Garfunkel and has working on this productions changed the way that you maybe look at the duo or had an effect on the music for you?

Absolutely, I've had the pleasure of looking at their music through a microscope and I think they were both extraordinary.

What is it in your opinion that has made this show such a success with audiences?

It comes from the heart. Everyone involved with the show, on and off stage, has a deep love and respect for them and when you approach art from admiration then often you find hard work and attention to detail.

For more tickets and more information visit WeidnerCenter.com.

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