The Temple Theatre Marks 91st Anniversary with The UTLIMATE QUEEN CELEBRATION on April 12th

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, , Culture, ,   From Issue 877   By: Robert E Martin

04th April, 2019     0

As Saginaw’s historic and undeniably premier showcase known as The Temple Theatre is poised to celebrate in 91st Anniversary, this remarkable community resource is celebrating this special occasion on Friday, April 12th, with the Ultimate Queen Celebration, an explosive, attention-commanding tribute to the seminal rock band that pioneered the fusion of some of the most iconic rock anthems of all time with an eye-popping theatrical performance style, making history in the process.

Featuring vocalist Marc Martel, long praised for his vocal resemblance to the late Freddie Mercury, and who’s voice was used on many of the vocal parts of the film Bohemian Rhapsody where that of Mercury’s could not be utilized; Martel first leapt to prominence after auditioning for a contest spearheaded by the actual surviving members of Queen, earning him 30-million views on YouTube and Facebook, winning the competition outright. Indeed, as Queen drummer Roger Taylor notes: “That voice. You listen, close your eyes, and think it’s Freddie. It’s really uncanny”

At its core, this riveting show focuses on the extremely diverse body of the band’s greatest hits, but also incorporates an entirely unique angle that will have die-hards and casual appreciators alike clamoring to hear several other sides of Martel.  “Near the end of Freddie’s life, he explored other styles of music beyond rock, including opera, so with that in mind, the show also includes a segment of familiar songs in the flavor of what they might have sounded like had Freddie ever gotten the chance to sing them,” Martel explains.

“For instance, I perform ‘Ave Maria’ by myself on piano and also the great opera aria ‘Nessun Dorma’ in the style of Freddie, so it gives the night some imaginative elements in the spirit of Queen, rather than strictly the letter of Queen. You could call it a greatest hits show with a twist where I get to explore other things that I wish Freddie could have recorded himself and wonder what could have been.”

With the concert starting at 7:30 PM and reserved seating priced at $70, $55, $40 and $25, the scope and spectacle of this performance will also accompany The Temple Theatre’s annual Fundraiser Reception, which affords the community an opportunity to support the admirable endeavors of The Temple Theatre Foundation through a Meet & Greet Fundraiser Reception that will include heavy hors d'oeuvres, drink tickets, cash bar prizes and more that will run from 5:00 - 7:00 PM, with pricing set at only $125.

According to The Temple’s Marketing & Creativity Manager Thor Rasmussen, “We’re not calling this an Anniversary Celebration so much as a Celebration of the Temple Theatre, with the idea being to close out the season with a good time for everybody. This year’s Fundraiser portion has an ‘80s Pre-Show Party theme and includes a meet-and-greet in the ballroom with Marc Martel and premium seating for the show.”

“A lot of people don’t recognize that The Temple is a non-profit organization that must garner funds through donors and grants and community support,” notes Thor. “Ticket sales help sustain us, but given artist fees and operational costs throughout the year, we rely upon numerous resources ranging from grants to philanthropy. A lot of people think buying a ticket to the shows we feature each season is where we get our money - and there is some truth to that; but a lot of our contributions come from other places as well, so we are very excited about this show and really pleased we can bring this to Saginaw.”

At its core, this riveting show focuses on the extremely diverse body of the band’s greatest hits, from the grandiose “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the adrenaline-pumping “We Will Rock You,” the euphoric “We Are The Champions,” the funky “Another One Bites The Dust,” the stadium-shaking David Bowie collaboration “Under Pressure,” the soulful “Somebody To Love” and the swinging “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (to name but a few from the steroid-stacked set list).

“Living in the States, I’m finding that Americans in particular are kind of discovering Queen still, even though they’re the second biggest thing to The Beatles in the rest of the world,” notices Martel. “As a result, America isn’t satiated with Queen cover bands like they are in the UK and Europe, so gigs keep falling into my lap. I try to walk a line between being my own artist and indulging in this Queen thing, but it’s so much fun and people have been knocking down my door that it’s hard to say ‘no’ and it’s a standing ovation every night. It’s really just me answering the call of a huge desire for Queen’s music to be performed with Freddie’s sound.”

“I grew up believing a lie that I had to have one sound as a singer, but after I put that false belief aside, I realized I can have as many sides as I want,” sums up Martel. “I’m having the best time of my life as a professional musician right now where I’m involved with so many different things it’s impossible to get bored. Between anything Queen-related, my own recordings and these fun little side projects, I’m more diverse and happier as an artist than I’ve ever been!”

Similarly, as The Temple Theatre Foundation moves into its 91st Season, Thor Rasmussen is equally enthusiastic about the divergent programming offered through their endeavors that is unique to the region. “We tried some new things this year and we did pretty well,” he reflects. “We had some family programming specifically targeting and inviting families to join us and want to make the theatre accessible for our youngest guests through offering good Children’s productions.  I think we’re learning how to communicate better with different groups and segments of the community and had pretty good success, especially with shows like Cat in the Hat and that sort of name brand production.”

“Apart from family productions, our Saginaw Silver Screen Film series had a steady stream of films showcased for a wide variety of audiences,” he continues. “We’re planning on featuring more movies for next year as well and there really isn’t anything quite like seeing a film at The Temple. A lot of the kids movies did really well, such as Frozen, and it’s a great way to make a family outing on a Sunday afternoon, especially when you only have to pay five bucks for a ticket and get popcorn and pop and make an afternoon out of it.”

And of course, the fact we brought Art Garfunkel to town this year was a really special show,” concludes Thor. “It was as much about him as an artist as about the songs he performed and I thought that was a real special thing for everyone to experience - a different take on what people might have expected, but fantastic on all levels.”

“We’re still in the works for getting things lined up for next season and are continuing to focus on bringing diverse programming to the community they won’t find elsewhere, which is something I think the Temple does quite well - being able to bring those acts into our region that someone might not have heard about, but deliver remarkably strong and solid shows and performances.  Our job is to spark curiosity and get people exposed to something that might not be within the range of their immediate radar, so they are exposed to something different and fresh.”

 For tickets to The Ultimate Queen Celebration you can visit the Temple Theatre Box Office at 201 N. Washington Ave. in Downtown Saginaw, visit their website at templetheatre.com, or phone 877.754.7469.

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