BOWZER’S ROCK N’ ROLL PARTY
08/11/2006 - 08/11/2006
02/11/2006 - 02/11/2006
31/10/2006 - 31/10/2006
30/10/2006 - 30/10/2006
06/11/2006 - 06/11/2006
28/10/2006 - 28/10/2006
04/11/2006 - 04/11/2006
Jon 'Bowser' Bauman: executive producer, writer and host
We loved him, we laughed with him in the 70s sitcom SHA NA NA and we’re still singing his hit songs from Grease, ‘At The Hop’ and ‘Born To Hand Jive’ … and he’s still partying hard!!
The unstoppable “Bowzer” (aka Jon Bauman) has raised a lot of eyebrows in the entertainment industry and now he’s raising some Kiwi sweat with his two-hour knock-out show, touring Auckland to Invercargill, October-November.
Bowzer’s Rock n’ Roll Party is a classic American show, featuring a fully international cast with Rocky & The Rollers from America opening the show, followed by Bowzer & The Stingrays.
BOWZER AND THE STINGRAYS SET LIST
Papa Oom Mow Mow- The Rivingtons
Blue Moon- The Marcels
At The Hop (Hula Hoops)- Danny & The Juniors
Bumble Boogie- B. Bumble & The Stingers
Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)
Can’t Help Falling In Love- Elvis
Twistin’ The Nite Away- Sam Cooke
Hand Jive (Johnny Otis)/ Born To Hand Jive- “Grease”
Higher & Higher- Jackie Wilson
Shout- Isley Brothers
Goodnight Sweetheart- The Spaniels
ROCKY & THE ROLLERS SET LIST
House is A-Rockin- The Comets/Stevie Ray Vaughn
Rock and Roll is Here to Stay- Danny & The Juniors
You Can’t Sit Down- The Dovells
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me- Mel Carter
Tossin’ and Turnin’- Bobby Lewis
Sea Cruise- Frankie Ford
I Fought the Law- Bobby Fuller Four/ The Crickets
Runaway- Del Shannon
My Prayer- The Platters
Rock Around the Clock- Bill Haley & The Comets
Land of 1000 Dances- Wilson Pickett
Boney Maroney- Larry Williams
Unchained Melody- The Righteous Brothers
Johnny B. Goode- Chuck Berry
For more, go to http://www.bowzerparty.com/
BOWZER AND THE STINGRAYS
Jon "Bowzer" Bauman
Monty Arnold- blue shirt, sings most leads, "Shout", "Do You Love Me", etc.
Peter Kalivas- yellow shirt, picks up woman in Dance Contest
Anthony Moore- red shirt, dance solos on "Do You Love Me"
ROCKY & THE ROLLERS
Gerry "Rocky" Seader- Drums and Vocals
Dave Parker- most other leads, sings all the ballads
Al Layton- Keyboards
Jimmy Miller- Bass
Theatre , Music , Comedy ,
Approx2 hrs: Click title above for tour schedule
Get your glad rags on, join me hon...
Review by Nik Smythe 30th Oct 2006
In 1978, Sha Na Na’s musical sketch comedy show was the coolest thing for an eight year old to watch on telly. Originally created to nostalgically pay homage to the music of the original rock n’ roll phenomenon, that nostalgia is now compounded as Bowzer, the tall, scrawny (not so scrawny nowadays – the poster image is from the 70s) bass singing lug, tours the world backed by aging old school rockers Rocky and the Rollers and youthful vocal harmonists The Stingrays.
So, we’re reminiscing about a time when we reminisced over an earlier time which I personally wasn’t even at, but had a solid education in thanks to my parents, Happy Days, Sha Na Na and Grease (in which Sha Na Na feature as the band for the utterly classic high school dance scene).
As we entered the table-set St James the non-presence of a dance floor seemed like a shame, but fortunately throughout the night it didn’t stop the most stalwart enthusiasts smoking up the aisles in their rolled-up jeans and twirly dresses. Not to mention when I had to run to the lav during Sam Cooke’s ‘Twisting the Night Away’, two of the ushering staff were twisting out like crazy together in the foyer. Rock ‘n Roll party all right!
For the uninitiated:
The alter-ego of one Jon Bauman, Bowzer is an Italiano greaser from Brooklyn, New York – ‘the ancestral home of all greasers’. He was the kids’ favourite on the show – from memory that was because he was the dumbest and therefore the funniest. Seeing Bowzer’s Rock n’ Roll Party, which is really Jon remembering Bowzer (i.e. not in character the whole time), it’s clear he has an enormous heart supporting an innate desire, and ability, to entertain.
Bauman was classically trained originally, as he demonstrates with a couple of Chopin’s greatest hits on the piano. This gives some irony and mystique to the character of Bowzer, considering his opening remark that he’s made a thirty-five year long career out of pulling the trademark face and pose on the poster.
Solidly backing his act, as well as opening with a solid who’s who and what’s what set in the first half before Bowzer even appears, Rocky and the Rollers at first reminded me of a local covers band. But their commitment to the Rock ‘n Roll faith is evident as they pump out the jukebox classics. According to drummer Gerry ‘Rocky’ Seader, they make a living playing support for the real stars from the era when they tour… (I can’t help wondering who’s still around? Fats Domino? Who else?). The worst thing about them is the cheesy uniform flame shirts – what are they thinking?
Completing the line-up is young bucks Monty Arnold, Peter Kalivas and Anthony Moore, comprising The Stingrays. With their sidekick status and their primary colour dayglo shirts and caps I bet I’m not the first to liken them to Huey, Dewey and Louie. Their backup harmonies are sweet, and they bust out the dance moves with style; particularly Anthony’s acrobatic feats in ‘Do You Love Me (Now That I Can dance)’. In their occasional solo parts they don’t have the vocal strength of Bauman, or for that matter the Rollers’ guitarist Dave Parker who sings all the ballads beautifully.
Ultimately the power of music, like any art, lies in its honesty. Its standard to consider these old time numbers as being cheesy and naive in comparison with rock ‘n roll’s subsequent eras, but when a bunch of guys who really mean it belt out Bill Haley and Chuck Berry there’s just as much raging passion behind it as any credible latter day rockers. Sure it’s a more innocent expression; a lot of the songs’ structures are like nursery rhymes about sex. On the other hand, the classic lead break in ‘Rock Around the Clock’ is as punk dirty as whatever. And if we’re talking cheek-to-cheek numbers, who’s written a song like ‘Unchained Melody’ lately? And they were just in the warm up set.
Talking numbers now:
The night in question was my 36th birthday and I felt among the top ten youngest audience members, although the cross-section included people who were there at the start back in the 50s, people like me who were there in the 70s, and a few kids who maybe saw the 20 year anniversary release of Grease in the 90s; not to mention 7 year old Alex, youngest player in the gripping hula-hoop contest.
The success of the night was clinched by a rousing standing ovation following the only finale they could have played, direct from the closing credits of the Sha Na Na show – The Spaniels’ ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’. Whether you’re a fan of the original pioneers of rock music, or merely keen to experience a crash course in the era, Bowzer’s Rock ‘n Roll Party is an authentic and entertaining blast; from the past, from the past.
[For tour dates & venues, contrasting images, full set lists and performer credits, click on the production details at the top of this page.]
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