The eight-piece band Dock Side Drive in a promo photo.

MUSIC

Swing band’s New York-set show recalls the night Glenn Miller died during WWII

Dock Side Drive brings ‘A Night at the Savoy’ show to Surrey on Nov. 16

A Victoria-based octet is set to swing into Surrey with a show that aims to recreate the sound and look of an iconic New York City ballroom.

With the music and script of “A Night at the Savoy,” Dock Side Drive takes audience members back to the night bandleader Glenn Miller died while fighting in the Second World War, in December of 1944.

“This show is a bit unique for us,” said the band’s Heather Burns, “because usually we’re a festival-event, stage-show band, but this show involves an actor as radio-show host.”

The music-heavy production was written in 2015 for a run of dinner-theatre shows in Victoria, said Burns, who is Dock Side Drive’s bandleader, singer, keyboardist and arranger.

On this side of the Strait of Georgia, they’ll perform at Surrey Arts Centre’s Main Stage on Saturday, Nov. 16, in another Surrey Civic Theatres presentation.

“A Night at the Savoy” features popular swing, blues, jazz and show tunes of the era, by the likes of Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, the Andrews’ Sisters, Irving Berlin, Nat King Cole and, yes, Glenn Miller.

“Without trying to give away too much of the show, a lot of people don’t know the story of Glenn Miller and how he died in the war,” Burns said. “The Second World War had an impact on the music scene, when a lot of musicians were sort of carted off to war.”

She said Dock Side Drive looks forward to performing the show in Surrey for the first time.

“We hope to bring a little of the iconic style and energy of the dance halls and the radio shows of the swing era, infused with the modern sound and energy that is our band,” Burns said.

“It will be the perfect time to bring the music of the ’40s to life on stage, having just had Remembrance Day, and the show is an opportunity to think about all the sacrifices, people and stories that came out of that era.”

Show tickets range from $24 to $39 at tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566.

For video, photos, a band bio and more, visit docksidedrive.ca.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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