Daddy D Productions: "Shake, Rattle & Riverside"
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Daddy D Productions’ “Shake, Rattle & Riverside” is a bundle of fun packed into 30 songs of the ’50s era, spiced with wild-eye humor. Troupe leader Darren Johnson’s imagination runneth over.
“American Bandstand” – band: Barb Hinnendael, keyboard; Bob Balsley, guitar; Ryan Sette, bass; Jeff Hinnendael, drums; Kevin Van Ess, saxophone.
“Sh-Boom Sh-Boom” Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet, Shelly Emmer, Maria Sausen
“Shake, Rattle and Roll” – Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet, Shelly Emmer, Maria Sausen
“Lonely Teardrops” – Darren Johnson
“Only the Lonely” – Doug Dachelet
“Born Too Late” – Maria Sausen
Deer Hunters – Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet
“Que Sera Sera”/ “Get Someone Like Your Ma” – Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet
“I Got a Woman” – Darren Johnson
“Green Door” – Doug Dachelet
Buddy Hackett – Darren Johnson
“Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” – Darren Johnson
“The Nearness of You” – Maria Sausen
Elvis Presley songs: “Wear Your Ring Around My Neck” – Darren Johnson; “Teddy Bear” – Doug Dachelet; “Don’t Be Cruel” – Shelly Emmer; “Don’t Be Cruel” – Maria Sausen
“Personality” – Doug Dachelet
Deer Hunters II – Shelly Emmer, Maria Sausen
“Que Sera Sera”/ “Get Someone Like Your Pa” – Shelly Emmer, Maria Sausen
“Blue Moon” – Shelly Emmer and Band
“Train, Train” – Bob Balsley, Band
“Rock and Roll Music” – Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet, Shelly Emmer, Maria Sausen
“Diana” – Doug Dachelet
“Five-Foot-Two” – Kevin Van Ess, clarinet a la Pete Fountain
Jethro the Peshtigo Gigolo
“I’m Just a Gigolo” – Darren Johnson
“Silhouettes on the Shade” – Darren Johnson
“Earth Angel” – Doug Dachelet
“Sincerely” – Shelly Emmer, Maria Sausen, Barb Hinnendael
“Runaway” – Doug Dachelet
Swamp People – Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet
“Shout” (“Gout!”) – Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet
“Who’s Sorry Now” – Maria Sausen
“Come Softly, Darling” – Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet, Shelly Emmer, Maria Sausen
Military Salute: “Moments to Remember” – Maria Sausen, Shelly Emmer, Darren Johnson, Doug Dachelet
“Rock ‘n’ Roll is Here to Stay” – All
One of Johnson’s new characters is Jethro the Peshtigo Gigolo. He comes out pitching his love packages. One is the O.J. Simpson Package, which includes a leisurely ride in a white Bronco with a police escort. Whoa. Much more around-the-bend stuff is sprinkled throughout the show, which has performances continuing through Nov. 1 at the Riverside Ballroom.
Ear-catching songs include a stack with the same chord progression, with each eventually sung together: “Silhouettes on the Shade,” “Earth Angel” and “Sincerely.” That’s prime musicality.
Brightness leaps from songs early in the show, including “Shake, Rattle and Roll.”
The live band is top notch. For instance, as Doug Dachelet sings the romping “Personality,” the band kicks out musical personality along with him. It does that in other Dachelet songs, too.
Never-heard-before renditions pop up. There’s a Wisconsin hunters’ version of “Blue Moon” with Shelly Emmer singing prettily to such backup sounds as clacking antlers, duck calls and the racking of a gun. Sounds weird, but it’s wonderful. Amazing.
Also totally original are versions of “Que Sera Sera” (whatever will be will be). Each includes blaze-orange-clad hunters as bumpkins philosophizing over marriage – first Darren Johnson and Doug Dachelet, then Shelly Emmer and Maria Sausen and then everybody together in clever lyrics made up by Johnson.
Kevin Van Ess has the doggonedest bit playing clarinet to a jazzy version of “Five-Foot-Two” in the limber way of Pete Fountain. A comic caper has him playing the instrument in ever-shortening lengths until he is only playing the reed. Again, this is unlike anything you see or hear anywhere else around here.
Look at the song list – lots of good songs, which come with lots of solid singing.
The show has Darren Johnson’s fingerprints all over it taking command of a vast array of comical and musical creativity.
THE VENUE: The spacious Riverside Ballroom Crystal Ballroom is the heart of the 1936 Art Moderne building on Green Bay’s east side. Performances are on a raised stage on which rock ‘n’ roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper performed a famed concert. Seating is at round tables on the ballroom floor. The ballroom features high, sweeping, laminated wood beams with streamlined, curved decoration at the base of each beam. Hanging from the ceiling are Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Imagine the Green Bay Packers holding practice inside the ballroom. That happened a few times, according to a Packers Heritage Trail plaque outside. Nearby flows the East River, thus the Riverside Ballroom.
Because I review a broadening range of performances, professional and amateur, and because of the tremendous range of production budgets, I have decided to forego putting star ratings on performances. You may email me at [email protected]. Watch for my on-air segments on WFRV between 6 and 8 a.m. Sundays.