You can’t think about the film “Casablanca” without immediately starting to hum “As Time Goes By.”
That’s the magic of music from the movies and the theme of the American Classics concert on Sunday, Feb. 26 at First Parish in Bedford. Time is 3 p.m. Tickets are available online here: https://tinyurl.com/bdexmuuh and also will be available at the door. The price is $25 and $20 for seniors/students. First Parish is wheelchair accessible.
Although this show is titled “In the Background,” some movies have become more famous for the songs included than for the actual film. American Classics, with local performers Ben Sears and Brad Conners in the cast, will bring the audience music from “All About Eve,” “Mildred Pierce,” and of course, “Casablanca.” Joining Sears on vocals are other American Classics cast members, many familiar to the Bedford audience from previous appearances. They include Grace Allendorf, Valerie Anastasio, Jean Danton, Brian De Lorenzo, and John Manning. Conner and Eric Mazonson are the piano accompanists.
American Classics was founded in 1996 by Ben Sears and Brad Conner along with a group of their musical friends, beginning as a summer concert series. From that small beginning, the group has grown in stature and claims to be the Boston area’s only organization devoted solely to the performance of American music. Or, as one Boston Globe critic remarked, “What American Classics does is document people’s dreams, and the way they’ve manifested themselves in the humble popular song over the generations. Nobody does it better.” (Richard Buell, Boston Globe)
Conner and Sears meticulously research the history and background of American musicals and films, teasing out the forgotten gems. This season they are presenting three concerts in Bedford; the first—in November-featured songs from over a hundred years of Oz musicals and films. Coming up on April 16 is “The Night of Nights-Famous songs from cartoons and animated classics.”