An interview with Larry McKenna

Sinatra Our WayOn Saturday, April 20, Act II is again presenting Sinatra: Our WayWe spoke to Larry McKenna, one of the performers. Larry is known to Act II audiences as the writer of the hit show Burt & Me.

How did Sinatra: Our Way come about?  

Chuck Shea, Steve Bauer, & I have been performing for many, many years.  We all love the classic Sinatra songs and so we decided to build a cabaret around those hit songs. We have been doing in for many years and it has been wildly successful. At one point we were selling out the Paddock at Devon with a monthly Sinatra show for over TWO YEARS!

What should people expect if they come to the show?  

They can expect a really fun night filled with humor and wonderful Sinatra songs sung in three-part harmony.

Why did you decide to set Sinatra’s music to three-part harmony?  

In our earlier years, we did a lot of Lettermen songs and we LOVE to sing harmony. When we took the music of Frank Sinatra and started doing his music in three-part harmonies, it sounded great and we fell in love with the concept. Fortunately for us, audience seems to really like it as well.

What does that arrangement do to the songs?

People LOVE the music of Ol’ Blue Eyes. We have no desire to be Sinatra impersonators.  We just want to celebrate his great music. It is similar to the show Glee doing wonderful new renditions of classic song, young and old. People love that we are continuing to spread the word about the wonderful music of yesteryear.

What are some of your favorite Sinatra songs and why?  

“The Way You Look Tonight” and “Nice & Easy” are my two favorites. I have been to hundreds of wedding where “The Way You Look Tonight” was a prominent part of the reception. It is just such a beautiful love song…both lyrically and musically speaking.

Tell me a little about your two co-stars, Chuck Shea and Steve Bauer.

Chuck Shea is perhaps the best voice to ever come out of Cardinal O’Hara High School. We have been friends since 1968 and he is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.  I am on record as declaring that he is my favorite male vocalist. Steve Bauer is one of the finest keyboardist alive.  He is also the one who works us until the harmonies are perfect. He started out as Chuck’s friend, but I stole him….and now he is MY friend too. When the three of us perform, we simply LOVE every minute of it. We are all very informal and love to connect with our audiences. When you get to perform with great friends, it is a beautiful thing.  It never feels like work.

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