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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

E & M Presents Doo Wop and a Duckling

Two shows in February sure to knock the socks off parents and kids!

No instruments, no tracks, no mirrors. Welcome to the world of Rockapella!

First up and geared to adults, a Valentine’s Night celebration with acapella sensation, Rockapella, Thursday, February 14 at 7:30 pm at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. The always-amazing, 12-member Napa High School Vocal Music Workshop will open the show. Tickets can be purchased at or for more information, call (707) 224-4353.

Rockapella became a leader in the evolution of acapella after forming at Brown University in 1986 and television appearances in the 90’s (most famously as the house band for PBS’ “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego”).

The group earned its recognition by texturing rich, five-part vocals with elements of not only doo wop, but rock, jazz, contemporary R&B and pop. A recent “New York Times” reviewer wrote: “The concert was so rhythmically animated that in places you could almost swear they were singing along to tracks.”

Rockapella issued their first album in 1992 and, through periodic lineup changes, continued with a consistent stream of new releases through 2004. During that time, the band opened for legendary musicians such as Chuck Berry, Billy Joel, and their idols, The Persuasions. In 2010, Rockapella recorded an album of original songs before delving into popular holiday music, show tunes, Motown, popand hip-hop.

Band members include: songwriter/arranger Scott Leonard; tenors Steven Dorian and Calvin Jones; vocal percussionist/human beat box Jeff Thacher; and bassist Ryan Chappelle.

On Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 pm, Lightwire Theater makes its first Napa Valley appearance at Lincoln Theater with one performance of “The Ugly Duckling,” based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen (suitable for kids age 5 and over). For tickets, visit or call the box office at (707) 944-9900.

Lightwire’s co-creators -- Ian Carney and Corin Popp -- met in New York City while dancing with Twyla Tharp on Broadway. They realized their mutual love of art, theater and technology, and after discovering a product called “el wire,” they began experimenting with shapes and designs to develop puppetry-based neon creatures that quickly came to life.

The process of building these electroluminescent characters starts with the creators and cast. They build everything from the ground up, utilizing recyclable materials including aluminum rods, election signs, skate board wheels, dryer ducting, plumbing supplies, PVC pipes, fishing poles, duct tape, zip ties and back packs to help define peaks and angles.

These common household items help create durable and pliable sculptures that can withstand the movement of the dancers. Black fabric is added for dimension and then lined with the “el wire,” which can be powered by batteries, requires no theatrical lighting and gives 360-degrees of glowing light. The results are, as wrote, “An eye-popping display of storytelling that’s like nothing else you’ve ever seen.”

Tickets are on sale online at

For information, call (707) 224-4353



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