Violinist Lauren Wright joins the band for ’60s-’80s music at FRP

Violinist Lauren Wright joins the band for ’60s-’80s music at FRP

Violinist Lauren Wright joins the band for ’60s-’80s music at FRP

Lauren Wright plays violin in FRP’s Autumn at the Opry. Photo provided.

Flat rock – Flat Rock Playhouse’s all-star cast has a guest in Lauren Wright to headline FRP’s Feb. 22-25 season with Mixtape: The Best of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Violinist and singer Wright played at Fall at the Opry and with Nat Zegree on Mozart on the Pop Chart, Vol. 2. Wright plays a quiet violin on The Beatle’s solemn “She’s Leaving Home.” She lists her vocal range as soprano/”high belt”. She toured nationally in the latest hit musical Oh mom! Wright was a “flying violinist/vocalist” in the Cirque Musica.

Wright joins seasoned guitarist-vocalists Dustin Brayley, Ryan Dunn, Eric Anthony and Ryan Guerra; and percussionist Paul Babelay. They have played hits by The Beatles, The Eagles, The Allman Brothers, Tom Petty, Queen, James Taylor and many others at Music on the Rock shows.

In the 60s-80s concert, they will play the hits of rock groups The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Seger, Jefferson Airplane; and the Allman Brothers Band; also pop classics by Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Otis Redding, Toto and The Outfield. The show focuses on a classic three-decade era of pop and rock, rather than one band, as in many Music on the Rock® shows.

These common group members are prolific, with spectacle as a bonus. They are very experienced outside of FRP, performing in concerts and hit musicals.

For example, the energetic Brayley is a guitarist and singer of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He was on Broadway in Rocktopia with rock stars Robin Zander of Cheap Trick and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. Brayley played in the national tournament of Saturday Night Fever, Miss SaigonAND RENTAL. He has acted in films and television.

Guerra was the Music on the Rock® music director for several shows. He sang George Harrison’s tunes in FRP. Guerra first played at FRP in 2010. He has a recurring musical gig on a steamboat based in Oregon.

The burly, bearded Dunn is a veteran of FRP musicals and concerts. He and his wife Annalyse McCoy hosted a series called Valley Clock during the pandemic, featuring Grammy-winning artists in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Anthony has a husky voice similar to that of Don Henley and Bryan Adams. The Northern California native performs at the ski resort in Park City, Utah. His cover list of more than 500 hits includes the likes of Eric Clapton and John Mayer and younger artists such as Bruno Mars, John Legend and Ed Sheeran. He met his other band mates in college.

Drummer Babelay has the longest tenure (30 years) with FRP, of these band members. He directs the Biltmore Community Orchestra. Babelay once jammed on stage with Chaka Khan. He has taught songwriting workshops for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Upcoming shows

Four upcoming playhouse productions are also concerts on FRP’s Leiman Main Stage: The music of John Denver (March 8-9), a special guest trio Uptown: The Music of Motown (March 21-24), Navigate to: Beach Boys Music (April 4-6) and Country Gold: Country Music’s Greatest Hits with Blake Ellege (April 25-27).

After that are seven performances: music Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons (May 10-June 1), intense drama The Shawshank Redemption (June 14-30), the long-running musical cabaret (July 12-Aug. 3), comedy Boeing-Boeing (August 9-25), musical Jesus Christ Superstar (September 5-22), close-up Blackbox drama Top of the mountain by Katori Hall (October 4-13), musical cats (October 25-November 10) Mozart to Pop Chart, Vol. 3: The History of Rock and Roll with Nat Zegree (November 14-17), and A Flat Rock Christmas Playhouse (November 29-December 21).

Tickets are $65, $55 or $45 for adults, varying by section, or $25 for youth 17 and under. To purchase tickets for FRP performances, call (829) 693-0731 or (quicker still) check online at flatrockplayhouse.org.

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