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Tiki Central Forums Beyond Tiki 'Mancini at the Movies' tribute tour
'Mancini at the Movies' tribute tour
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1323
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2004-01-20 7:59 pm   Permalink

I just heard about the ongoing 'Mancini at the Movies' tour, and thought it deserved a mention to the fellow exotica music lovers on this list.

Henry Mancini, the composer behind songs such as 'Peter Gunn Theme', 'The Pink Panther Theme', 'Moon River', 'Charade', 'Days of Wine and Roses', 'Baby Elephant Walk', and so many others, died 10 years ago. This tribute tour will feature the singing voice of Monica Mancini, Henry's daughter, backed by a 12 piece orchestra. Clips from his favorite movies, along with rare private footage will also be shown.

A Henry Mancini postage stamp will be issued this April. It looks like the next few months will be a rare chance for us to honor one of the best composers from the tiki/exotica era.

Tour dates and locations (mostly smaller cities) can be found at

I've already bought a ticket (front row center!) for the Frederick, MD performance.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 1513
From: Houston, Texotica
Posted: 2004-01-20 8:29 pm   Permalink

Eek, it's this weekend in Galveston!

For a fistful of clam(shells), I just may have to brave the frizz-making beach weather!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1323
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2004-02-24 8:43 pm   Permalink

I saw this show last week in Frederick, Maryland. It was a very small turnout - the venue was perhaps only about 1/6 full, but that was perhaps the only disappointment of the evening. That's what happens when you charge $45 per ticket in a relatively small city for a weekday night concert.

I was quite impressed with the show. Monica Mancini was backed up by a 12 piece orchestra, mostly made up 20-something age musicians, who I felt were all extremely talented. There was a drummer (Monica's husband and the orchestra leader), percussionist, bass string, pianist, guitarist, two woodwind players, 3 brass musicians, and one person who replicated the string/organ sections on a synthesizer. Most of the music they performed was based on Mancini's original arrangements. It was quite incredible, actually, when the first notes of the very first song - the Pink Panther Theme - started, as it sounded practically just like the original version.

One of my favorite Mancini compositions, 'Charade' was soon to follow - very well done. Some songs I were not too familiar with - two from Victor/Victoria I may have been hearing for the first time.

Monica did perform some songs that were not Mancini compositions, my favorite being one from 'Black Orpheus' The first set was perhaps 40 minutes long, which somehow felt way too short, but it did end with the 'Peter Gunn Theme' which was fantastic.

The second set started with a very lively version of Quincy Jone's 'Soul Bossa Nova' which was also quite fantastic. I've heard that song many, many times, but seeing the flutist and picollo player standing in the center of the stage, trading their riffs, will provide quite a memory.

The second act also featured a waltzy version of 'Baby Elephant Walk', and some film footage being shown on a large screen behind the orchestra. One song was from 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', another the lullabye song from 'Dumbo' which was quite touching, and then the theme from 'Days of Wine and Roses', and some private and rarer footage of Mancini himself.

The highlight of the second set, and the entire night, was definitely 'Moon River.' I've heard that song so many times, that it has almost become a cliche .... but hearing it that night, with a full orchestra, knowing that it was Mancini's daughter singing it, brought tears to my eyes. The song ended with a well deserved standing ovation.

Monica did come out to the lobby afterwards, and was autographing CDs and other memorabilia - she seemed very nice.

The tour has only a few weeks left - so I highly recommend the show to those of you live in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin - and for those of you in New York who are able to catch the final show at Carnegie Hall.

I'm secretly hoping that this tour will be extended, and the whole ensemble might be able to perform at some of the outdoor settings, like the nearby Wolftrap Pavilion here in D.C.


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