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Greater Tulsa Reporter


American Theatre Company Announces ‘Return of the Ecclectics’ for 2017 Benefit


THE ECLECTICS


JOHN MCCORMACK


American Theatre Company announces the Return of the Ecclectics for the theatre’s 2017 Annual Benefit and Show. ATC premiered Eddie and the Ecclectics in 1981 with the production running through 1997. Based on the mythical rock and roller Eddie Edwards, a rock and roller who wrote and performed all, and that’s all, of the major rock and roll songs during the 1950s and 1960s. It is truly “The music you know and love!”

After a too long 20-year sabbatical, the Ecclectics are back. The Ecclectics decided that it is time, once again, to play the music they are known for and to do the show in the ATC Studios in downtown Tulsa’s East Village. But where is Eddie? Late? Confused? Lost? Will he show? We don’t know. Come find out Aug. 12.

The 2017 benefit will start with appetizers and cocktails at 6 p.m. followed by an eclectic dinner with cuisine provided by Chef Keith Jimerson. The evening includes not only The Return of the Ecclectics but also a live auction, with master auctioneer Jay Litchfield, silent auction and a wine pull. The evening will be hosted by ATC company member Joe Merenda (Wedding and Funeral), all benefitting American Theatre Company.

The Ecclectics, known for their high energy, danceable 1950s and 1960s rock and roll, have played all over Tulsa. From Mayfest to the Tulsa State Fair to the Brady Theatre and Brook Theatre, The Ecclectics, along with the Martels, found a permanent home when American Theatre Company remodeled and reopened the Brook Theatre in the late 70s. (ATC and the Brook are credited with, if not starting, greatly helping the start of the revitalization of Brookside.)

Now it is time for the Ecclectics to explore American Theatre Company’s new, to the Ecclectics, home, ATC Studios in the East Village Downtown Tulsa.

Returning to the Ecclectics are Melanie Fry, as director and reprising her role as Rhonda Rhondell, Karl Krause (Christmas Carol) returning as Ace Diamond, Greg Roach reprising his role as Tony Antonio and John Riggs returning as Johnny Valentine. Joining the cast are Mike Buckendorf (Caine Mutiny) as Bucky Ramone, Denise Hoey as Barbie Babcock, Jeremy Geiger (Caine Mutiny) as Frankie Beans and Mick Casper as Mickey Cinnamon with an additional surprise guest to be announced.

David Bagsby (Christmas Carol and Caine Mutiny) returns to lead the band along with original Ecclectics’ drummer John Ross, guitarist Steve Bagsby, keyboards Jim Downing and guitarist Tom Hanford. Returning on the production side is Aaron Veale on sound, Melinda Lewis on lights, Richard Ellis on scenery and with Laurie Carlson production stage managing.

American Theatre Company’s 2017 Benefit and Show is chaired by board member Heather Buffington. The Benefit Committee includes ATC board members Doretta Karns, Toni Struebing, Paddy Harwell, Bud Sartain, Laurie Carlson, Brad Gemeinhart and Keith Hunt.

So, come dance the night away to the hits The Ecclectics made famous.
Individual tickets start at $75 with tables for ten starting at $1,000. For complete benefit information go to AmericanTheatreCompany.org, call 918-747-9494, check out ATC’s Facebook page (and like us while you are there) or ask for more info at info@AmericanTheatreCompany.org.

In the photo of the Ecclectics from left are Karl Krause, David Bagsby, Melanie Fry, Mike Buckendorf, Denise Hoey and Mick Casper. Ecclectics not pictured include Greg Roach, John Riggs, and Jeremy Geiger. Complete benefit information can be found at AmericanTheatreCompany.org.  

Updated 07-25-2017

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