Purdue's "Andrews Sisters" beguile at Swingtime Canteen
Nostalgia for the big band era colors American Music Review’s Saturday, April 13, “Swingtime Canteen.” It features a parade of hits from the 1930s and 40s highlighted by a “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” appearance by Purdue’s version of the famous singing trio “The Andrews Sisters.”
The concert is set for 8 p.m. at the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St. Admission is free.
Two real-life Lafayette sisters – Sara Suppinger and Carla Suppinger Scott team up with West Lafayette native Hannah Niebrugge to mimic the vocal harmonies and energized delivery style that made “The Andrews Sisters” famous. Besides “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” the trio will also sing “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”
Scott is a teacher at St. Boniface Elementary School while Suppinger is a sophomore liberal arts major and Niebrugge is a senior pharmacy major.
Ironically, the Canteen marks the first time the two sisters have performed together on the concert stage although each has extensive individual performing credentials. Scott is particularly familiar to theater audiences for singing leads in many Civic musicals from Annie Get Your Gun to Kiss Me Kate.
“Because of the seven year age gap between Carla and I, we were never in school with each other, so performing together was rare. It caught us both off guard when we realized that this performance will be the first time we’ll be behind microphones together,” Suppinger says.
Although the “Swingtime Canteen” is flavored by music of the 1930s and 40s, American Music Review director Bill Kisinger intends to modernize the concept a bit to pull in timeless hits from eras following the war years.
Decolby Hill, a freshman biology major from Indianapolis, will be the featured vocalist with the band on the 1950s tune “That’s All.” He will also sing “Old Devil Moon” from the Broadway musical Finnian’s Rainbow. “Tuxedo Junction,” “All or Nothing at All” and “Stella by Starlight” are among the nostalgia tunes on the program.
Suppinger sings “Stella by Starlight,”a tune made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. “I can’t hear that song without imagining Ella behind a mic in a smoky cocktail lounge, bending the notes just enough to make the melody remain in your head for the rest of the evening,” Suppinger says.
“Making a performance memorable – that’s what she did and that’s what I strive to do. I want to have fun, but most of all, I want the crowd to walk away with smiles on their faces and maybe even a lighter step to their walk.”Just like canteens of the past, there’ll be more than singing in the show. Tap dancers will perform to the band’s rendition of “Sweet Georgia Brown” and other specialty numbers will feature Purdue’s twirlers and dance squad.