Thursday, November 1, 2012

AK in Anchorage (from Andrea)

Hello everyone!  Just back from an invigorating weekend in Anchorage Alaska, where Lis, Kat, Steph and I performed the fabulous music of ABBA.  We had 2 truly amazing audiences, who arrived ready to let their hair down, sing along to all the tunes, and dance like no one was watching.  I've got to say that Anchorage has captured my wild heart.  It's beautiful on every level.

Of course, this little journey north also taught me a few unexpected things:

-    I learned that hunters (just like singers) have to struggle with getting their make-up off at the end of the day.  (Who knew?)  For me it's the darn sparkles that I use in my eyeshadow, for them it's the dark greens and browns of classic camo.  The Anchorage Army Navy revealed these handy wipes ... and believe me they'll will take anything off your face!!

-    I learned that the Mayor of Anchorage is a music fan!  (He offered us the 'keys to the city' post show...)

-    I learned that Steve Meacher (our front of house sound guru) will spontaneously dance with bears in tutus. 

-    I learned that the Anchorage Symphony is one of the finest in all the land.

Thank you Anchorage.  We can't wait to see you again!

-AK (who's right at home in AK)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lovely Katalin! (from Rique)

Check out this gorgeous shot of Katalin Kiss, which Rique Franks took when we were in Marshall TX last September to do "It Came from the Jersey Shore"!

Tucson Talent! (from Andrea)

We're on our way to Tucson for a Friday night performance of Michael Jackson's music, and Andrea sent along this clip she took in February 2011 when we were there to do the music of the Eagles with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Steve Hogg is the juggler extraordinaire in this clip ... wonder what other extracurricular skills & talents lie undiscovered in the Jeans 'n Classics gang?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

El Dorado, here we come ... now where was that fabulous fudge again?

As the symphony season starts we're looking forward to returning to some of the places we've been before, like El Dorado AR on Sept. 8 (we'll be doing the music of Queen this time).

As always, we love to try local food while we're visiting — but we don't have a lot of spare time this trip, so would love a breakfast recommendation for Saturday morning if you have one!  We'll also be hungry after the show Saturday night, so an evening eatery recommendation would also be much appreciated. :-)

Last time I was in El Dorado I got some amazing fudge and gourmet popcorn to take home, but I didn't write the name of the shop down so can't remember what it was called ... might be La Bella Gourmet Gifts and Deli (?) which is on the way to the venue from our hotel.

Wherever it was, I definitely want to drop in there again!

See you soon,

 Mmmm fudge!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What To Do/See/Eat When We're In Your City?

Photo by Kate Krav:
We're looking forward to meeting more of you this year, as well as seeing familiar faces in places we've already performed, and it's always great to discover new fave places to go, things to see, and food to eat ...

... SOOooooo ...

... just wondering if you might have some recommendations for how to spend any spare time (we don't always have some, but it does happen!) when we come visit you — please feel free to post any suggestions below.

Thanks in advance, and we'll see you this season!

xo Lis

p.s.  Click on "upcoming concerts" in the tabs above to see show dates for this season's schedule (and check out our Google map of where we've been so far):

Akron, OH
Amarillo, TX
Anchorage, AK
Austin, TX

Bartlesville, KY
Big Spring, TX
Binghamton, NY
Bowling Green, KY
Brantford, ON

Calgary, AB
Chattanooga, TN

Dayton, OH
Denver, CO
Duluth, MI

El Dorado, AR
Erie, PA

Hagerstown, MD
Halifax, NS
Huntsville, AL

Jackson, MS

Kamloops, BC
Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

London, ON

Marshall, TX
Midland-Odessa, TX

Nanaimo, BC
New Orleans, LA

Owensboro, KY

Peterborough, ON
Port Perry, ON

Reading, PA

Saskatoon, SK
Sioux Falls, SD
St. Catherines, ON
St. Joseph,  MI

Thunder Bay, ON
Tucson, AZ
Tulsa, OK

Victoria, BC

Wheeling, WV
Williamsport, PA
Winnipeg, MB
Winston-Salem, NC

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

February in Anchorage (from Stephanie)

Smack-dab in the middle of summer, it's hard to believe we'll have to bundle up for the cold weather again ... looking forward to another trip to Anchorage in October 2012 for the ABBA show with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra!

Here are Andrea Koziol, Stephanie Martin and Dale Anne Brendon from when we were there to do the music of Queen this past February.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Keeping the Drapes Closed With Colin Mochrie!

You never know who you’ll run into on the way to or from a Jeans ’n Classics gig, and what pearls of travel wisdom they might have for you ...

For instance, in March on the way to perform the music of U2 with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, we ran into Canadian comedy icon Colin Mochrie, award-winning actor and world-renowned master of improv.  And in June we were on our way back from a Queen show with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and Colin was on the same flight back to Toronto.

(If you'd like to see all the shows we have to choose from, have a look here.)

Rique sings the theme song for “She’s the Mayor” — just one of the many shows in Mr. Mochrie's impressive career — and she said hi to Colin, who then chatted with us while putting some finishing touches on a new project on his laptop.  (Perhaps it was this:

He shared a great travel tip, too.  Getting enough rest on the road is a challenge, especially if you have to perform at night plus rehearse during the day, not to mention travel schedules; even if you have time for a nap it can be hard to drift off (or stay asleep) if the sun’s shining.  You can close the drapes in a hotel room, but if they don't close all the way a pesky, persistent sliver of light can stand defiantly between you and some much-needed shut-eye.

Colin's solution?  Use the pant hangers in the closet to clip the drapes closed.

Perfect.  Simple, effective, and takes up zero space in the carry-on.  Thanks, Colin!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Who Needs Pyro?!

On Saturday, July 6, 2012 we performed the music of Kiss and Queen at the Brott Festival in Hamilton, Ontario. 

For many years now I have been hanging onto a giant pair of platform boots… utterly perfect for the occasional Kiss concert! Naturally I packed the behemoths for this latest extravaganza. The only trouble is, they ain't dainty. If you're bringin' the Kiss boots, everything else you need to bring had better be dollsized, or inflatable, or expandable by water, 'cause once those puppies are packed, not much else is getting in that suitcase. 

Upon arrival for the Hamilton show, I noticed that there was a crack in the sole of the right giant, across the bottom. In a search for any kind of strong glue, during soundcheck I casually mentioned my cracked sole (soul?) to a nice man on the tech crew at the theatre (whom, to my mind, closely resembled David Bowie as Andy Warhol in the movie "Basquiat"), and lo and behold, the nice man included shoe glue in his trip on a run to the gaff tape store, or some such… and he glued my sole back together for me to find after dinner break. Fabulous!! Like magic. Rock 'n roll. Jeans 'n Classics.

Confident in my Kiss-Boot-Ness, I prepared for showtime.

Here was my Confident Kiss-Boot Look:

(And here is Katalin Kiss * and myself, right before the show):
[* no relation to the band Kiss, apart from rocking just as hard if not harder]

And then the fun began.

My concern before the show was all about the right foot, the one with the glue. How wrong was I. Imagine my surprise when bits of rubble began to erupt from Mr. Left Boot. My Right-boot worries were not ill-founded, though. Not to be outdone, the Right guy began belching six inch pieces of wasted rubber and plastic particles. 

Talk about a wardrobe malfunction... my man-made wonders were giving way in an increasingly spectacular public display of spent glory. By the time we got to Detroit Rock City, their days were truly numbered. I stood teetering on an ever-changing precarious core of What Left Remaining. My dear friend Katalin and I were dodging bits from the blast, as the boots continued to detonate. Thank goodness for the large monitor speakers at our feet. If not for them, the audience would have had no shielding from the Exploding Boots. 

And let's face it, it was not entirely inappropriate given the theme of the night! Who needs Pyro, when you've got the Exploding Boots?!

I staggered off for intermission. The stage needed to be swept between sets. The string section was forced to gingerly step between the bits of wreckage to leave the stage.

I was very grateful indeed to step into my new spike heel blank ankle booties for the Queen set.

RIP, Kiss boots. You Gave Rock & Roll To Me. You don't owe me a thing. It's been fun.

(Photos courtesy of Jeff Christmas.)

xo KR

PS: For the true story of how I met Gene Simmons, click here:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Finally I get to wear this dress! (from Kathryn)

Myself, Neil, and Rique right after the finale song: Go Your Own Way, with fireworks!!! This dress is one of my very favourites. I've been looking for the right gig to wear it and this was it!

- KR

Left to right: Kathryn, Neil and Rique from the Fleetwood Mac show in Fort Worth on June 17. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

All American Experience (from Leah)

Sometimes I post info on my Facebook page as to where Jeans N'Classics is headed next.  This time I wrote about singing for the triple decker Memorial Day event in Cedar Rapids with the music of the Beach Boys and Orchestra Iowa, a ballgame, and to end with fireworks. 

I promptly got a private message from an old school mate I used to play violin with in chamber orchestra. She told me to be on the look out for our friend Miko Ueda (last time I saw her was in grade 8 when she was already a master pianist) who was the resident pianist with the Iowa Symphony. Alas, I told my friend, we travel with a pops pianist (Mr John Regan) and Miko wouldn't be on the gig. But I gotta say, it made for great introductory chatter with myself and members of the orchestra! (my first time in Cedar Rapids). 

The air was windy during our sound check on the field. I wasn't sure if I'd be comfortable in our Beach Boys show clothes. Then once the show started there was a blazing sun and all was good!
I'm not normally a beer drinker (as Peter Brennan would tell you, my drink of choice post show is usually Bombay Saphire's G&T) but after this show, as we all caught our breath in the dugout, Peter asked me if he could buy me a beer. A beer? Well, ok!

And as we mounted the stairs into the bleachers, baseball and orchestra fans clapped and patted us on the back. "Great show!" they said as we climbed into the heat. I was taking this all in. The hotdogs, the kids, the heat- what a scene!

The rest of the band gathered around Peter as we checked out the beer on tap. I'd never tried it before but when he ordered a Bud Light Lime on draught I thought I'd never heard of anything so delicious in my life.

And here you have the picture to prove it. Taken by our pianist John Regan. Burger, beer, Beach Boys music dress and a ball game. My all American Jeans N'Classics Experience! 

- Leah

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A note from Peter Brennan to our London friends & fans!

Here's a note from our fearless leader Peter Brennan about our exciting new season in London, ON next year:

Dear London fans,
I wanted to check in with you and say a big thanks for all your support over the last 19 years and to encourage you to buy your subscriptions to see us as we launch our 20th season!
From now on you can see us exclusively at the London Convention Centre with the great Rose in My Book (for breast cancer research) as presenters. All your favourite JnC vocalists and band will be there with the Jeans 'n Classics Rock Symphony.
This is the only place you can see Jeans n Classics in London, so get your tickets and don't be disappointed. All seats are table seating and we are presenting Saturday concerts only. Tickets are being sold on a first come, first served basis.
For more information please go to and click the link in the top right corner of the page. This is going to be a season like you have never seen!
I look forward to seeing you all in September at opening night of London's own Jeans 'n Classics!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

taking it with you - the comforts of home

So ... we just had a very busy weekend at Jeans 'n Classics, with shows in Anchorage, Alaska; Jackson, Mississippi;and and Winnipeg, Manitoba. And luckily no-one lost their luggage! (It does happen occasionally.)

The trick when traveling, especially flying, is to pack as little as possible while still bringing everything you need (on-stage and off). On a tight schedule and/or in heavy travel mode, a little luxury can go a very long way.

For some of us, a cup of tea is more of a necessity than a luxury — and I just came across a little project that will up the luxe factor either way: a custom portable tea wallet to carry a personal stash of favourite brewables. (Courtesy of MissingWillow at; check out the project here.)

Hmm ... I wonder if I can take a needle and thread on a plane? A tea-wallet-in-progress could also be a good project to have on hand for any unexpected airport delays. ;-)