IV Tenors return to Walla Walla

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerMay 24, 2013 

The IV Tenors sang to nearly sellout crowds last year when they made their debut at the Gesa Power House Theatre in Walla Walla.

The quartet returns to the Power House on May 30 for a nine-day run of concerts. What makes these guys unique is they sing everything from classical to country and jazz to hip-hop as they pay tribute to a wealth of famous musicians.

The upcoming show will have all new material, said Sunny Thompson, director of the show.

"Since last year's run at the Gesa Power House Theatre, we've added a lot of new material to the show, including a segment celebrating some of the great male groups during the last century," Thompson said. "Like the Mills Brothers, The Beatles, The Mamas & the Papas, Aerosmith."

And the show also features some comedy by the foursome's resident funny man Brian Damson, she added. The tenors are Damson, Morgan James, Michael Scott Brooks and Ken Nielson.

Some of the songs the audience will hear are In America, What Kind of Fool Am I, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Hallejuah and Time Warp, as well as a tune by Run DMC.

"Greg (Thompson) and I always choose music that shows the versatility of the tenors -- whether it's classical, pop, rock, Broadway or country," Sunny said. "The formula of their success is that each tenor has his own individual style and genre in which he sings exceedingly well.

"Then they come together as a group and change styles, cross genres without missing a beat."

What that boils down to, she added, is if Puccini's Nessum Dorm isn't your thing, then the guys' rendition of Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer should be the next best thing.

The tenors have as many eclectic pursuits outside of performing as is in their musical repertoire. Brooks writes and arranges music for a number of vocal groups. James is a lawyer by trade, but singing and running his mustang horse ranch near Branson, Mo., are his first loves.

Damson has been singing his whole life, but he also is a personal trainer. And Nielson says music is the only thing he knows how to do.

The IV Tenors are a staple at Harrah's in Reno.

"They have broken this year's box office records (in Reno)," Sunny said. "It's exciting to see them doing so well. And one of the most rewarding things about having a group together for a long time is to watch the chemistry they have on and off the stage, as well as watch them grow and evolve as a group."

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. May 30-31, June 1, 5-8 with 3 p.m. matinees on June 2 and 9. Tickets are from $12 to $50 and available at www.phtww.com or call 509-876-1662. The Power House Theatre is at 111 N. Sixth Ave.

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*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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