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December 16, 2010 - Image 45

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-12-16

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December 8;0410 -
January 2 1 2011

Concert combines genre's memorable
hits with a "Token" holiday standard.

Directed by David Wolber

A moving account of a 'new" Jewish family trying to overcome the past.
Melinda Lopez' astonishing masterpiece resonates with questions of
loyalty, forgiveness, independence, patriotism and family. Don't miss
it. It will change your life.

Suzanne Chessler
Special to the Jewish News

ay Siegel and the Tokens will
perform only one holiday
song, "Little Drummer Boy,"
when they appear along with 12 other
groups in Doo-Wop Yule Pop 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 17, at the Fox Theatre in
The rest of their segment will fea-
ture the group's hit songs from the
1960s and 1970s, including The Lion
Sleeps Tonight,""Portrait of My Love"
and "Tonight I Fell in Love."
"We're going to do all the songs
that were recorded and made the hit
charts," says Siegel, 71, the only mem-
ber of the original group that now
features Bill Reid and special guest Jay
Traynor (of Jay and the Americans).
"We'll be doing 'Little Drummer Boy'
because we recorded it, and it gets
played every year around this time.
We've worked with every act in the
show and always look at each other's
set list to make sure we're not singing
the same songs."
Among the acts (with combined
sales of more than 250 million
records) are Charlie Thomas' Drifters
("On Broadway,""Up on the Roof"),
Shirley Alston-Reeves ("Soldier Boy,"
"Dedicated to the One I Love"), Jimmy
Beaumont & the Skyliners ("Since
I Don't Have You") and the Edsels
("Rama Lama Ding Dong").
"The attraction of doo-wop is
remembering times without the pres-
sure of mortgages, gas prices and
terrorism," says Siegel, whose earliest
singing was with a choir that toured
synagogues for the High Holidays. "All
we had to worry about when I was in
high school was passing tests and what
there was to do on the weekends."
Siegel, whose family thought he
would be a cantor, found rock 'n' roll a
lot easier. Joining the original Tokens
in high school (the group was founded
by future pop legend Neil Sedaka,
who soon left for a solo career), Siegel
started recording when he was 16
and did some composing. There were
about a dozen hits.
"During the 1960s and 1970s, we
didn't know how long the Tokens
would last as a recording act and
became involved in producing records


"...one of the most potent theatre productions
I've seen anywhere..."
—Lawrence B. Johnson The Detroit News

"It is the rare production that makes the audience empathize s
completely with the difficult decisions being made onstage."
—John Monaghan Detroit Free Press

"...gripping show that held me rapt throughout:- Jenn McKee, Annarborcom


A Co-production ofiewish Ensemble Theatre and Performance Network


Jay Siegel of the Tokens

for other artists — Tony Orlando
and Dawn, the Chiffons and the
Happenings," he recalls."We also were
very much involved in the advertising
business — writing, producing and
singing jingles for radio and televi-
The Tokens found a new group of
fans with The Lion King movie, which
reinvigorated their hit "The Lion
Sleeps Tonight."
Siegel and his wife, Judy, who have
been married 49 years, are active
with the Jewish Community Center
in Rockland County, N.Y., where they
arranged a benefit concert this year.
Their children, two daughters and
a son, were raised with Jewish educa-
tions and had their b'nai mitzvah. The
Siegels have four grandchildren.
"I have a family that centers me and
keeps me normal," says Siegel, who
recalls previous Michigan appear-
ances."I've treated the music business
as a business. After work, I go home
and don't hang out.
"Judy and I go to Acapulco for two
weeks every February. We sit and do
nothing except enjoy the sun and ocean
and read some books. But going on
stage and performing, which the group
does 12 months out of the year, is still
one of the biggest joys of my life." 1111

Detroit's Fox Theatre hosts
Doo-Wop Yule Pop 7:30
p.m. Friday, Dec.17. $32.50-
$75. (800) 745-3000; www.
olympiaentertainment.com .

CALL NOW! 248.788.2900


JET performs in the Aaron DeRoyTneatre in the JCC • Corner of Maple & Drake in West Bloomfield



Bar/Bat MitzvahsReunions Anniversaries


1 . t r.






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of Orthodox Rabbis


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subject to Rules of Use. Offer valid 12/31/10 bun 01/21/11
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6480 Orchard Lake Rd. 1248-626.6969

December 16 • 2010


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