EVERLY – The Music of The Everly Brothers – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Ben Hope and Eric Anthony are new proud papas in real time as well as the creators and directors of an innovative tribute celebrating the music and stories of the Everly Brothers, being showcased until Sunday, April 28 at the Ivoryton Playhouse in “EVERLY The Music of The EVERLY BROTHERS.” Sit back and start tapping your feet and snapping your fingers as these two clever and talented men take you on a journey to delight and entertain you. Two long time friends, they took on this challenge during the pandemic to write a show and you are sure to love their perfect product.

The lively and energetic tunes of the Everly Brothers began decades ago in Iowa with their musical family, on a radio show, and was encouraged by a friend Chet Adkins. Once they traveled to Nashville, they finally landed a contract with a small studio Cadence Records who handed them a song, “Bye. Bye, Love” that had already been rejected by 30 acts, including Elvis, and these young whipper-snappers turned it into a Number One hit. Writing their own songs and using the creations of Felice and Boudreaux Bryant and others, they went on to influence the likes of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Bee Gees, the Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel. In 2015 Rolling Stones ranked them as Number One on their 20 Greatest Duos of All Time.

Whether they are singing about Claudette, Mary, Jenny, Cathy, Lucille or Little Susie, they rock, combining rockabilly, rock ’n roll, country and pop in a pleasing harmony on steel-string acoustic guitars that made them so special. Ben and Eric share a plethora of great tunes, combined with a wealth of information about their lives, that is guaranteed to tell the whole story, even the troubles with addictions that stopped their performance parade for years. Come hear more than two dozen hits like “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Take a Message to Mary,” “Til I Kissed You,” “Cryin’ in the Rain,” “Cathy’s Clown,” and “Be Bop-A-Lu-La.” My only suggestions to improve this great show would be to include a little more sing-a-long and change the title to Everly Eternal or Eternally Everly. Just saying.

For tickets ($60 adults, $55 seniors, $25 students ), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at ivorytonplayhouse.org. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Wednesday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Come let Ben and Eric share the story and the music of the Everly Brothers, who began at the ages of 8 and 10, pioneering country rock, witnessing the birth of rock and roll, with their incredible close harmony singing, struggling with the pressures of fame and addictions, to teach the world that “harmony is the ultimate love.”