Popping open a can full of talent

Get out those bell bottoms and tie-dye Ts because the Pictou County Pop Classics will be rockin’ them again. The celebrated Pop Classics was the hottest ticket in town this winter.

The 70s tribute show packed the house at the deCoste Centre for the Performing Arts in February and previous sell out shows at Glasgow Square have the shows producers and performers ready to give their audiences more!

It turns out that one groovy conversation a few years ago between Carlton Munroe and Mike Vienneau would pop open a can of talent that only the originators of the show might have expected.

“I can remember meeting with the first few entertainers to explain to them the concept of the show. They were scratching their heads saying you want me to do what? “ says Mike Veinneau, a retiree of Michelin and member of the band of Mike and The MacPhersons.

They laughed and exclaimed it would never happen. The idea of over 40 artists dressing up in costume, working together to perform over forty songs just seemed to be too much.”

But quicker that you can say KC and the Sunshine Band, Mike and Carleton had over 40 musicians who were actively gigging in the community, styling their wigs and digging out their polyester to get their 70s groove on.

The 70s Pop Tribute takes audiences back to the golden days of vinyl. From well-known soft and hard rock numbers right up to the soul and disco beats we immediately recognize, this group of eager cover artists come together to take you back in time.

“Pictou County Pop Classics is an amazing show to be a part of. None of us had a clue what we were getting into but gave it our all. It became this magical show that somehow brought the best out in each and every one of us. It brought us all closer as a music community and some awesome new musical acts have been formed with these new friendships,” says Lynn DeCoste, one of the cast who belts it out to Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams.

“I am honoured to be a part of the fun and talent that can only come from Pictou County!”

The success of the Pop Classics has a lot to do with timing. A region of baby boomers who love to soak up the nostalgia has been key to the audience buy-in. With performers ranging in age from early twenties to mid-sixties, you’ll need to keep an eye out for familiar faces such as Scott DeCoste, Gavin Scott and retired band teacher Andrew Alcorn on horns! Names you may also recognize include Leah Samson, Al Bezanson, Jakki Rogue and Karen Corbin also take the stage in ways you’ve never seen them!

“We are developing talent,” says Mike referring to his co-producer Carlton Munroe who had to take a break from the production of the winter show. “Even performers that have been gigging for years are learning new things about themselves. But we are also trying to push the limits of what has been done before. I think we used every cord and cable at the deCoste for the February show. It also opens the eyes of the venues and they can see what they are capable of doing and what they need to do more of in the future.

“We are very proud that Pictou County Pop Classics, the creative dream and idea of Carlton Munroe and Mike Vienneau, had its beginnings on our stage,” says Geralyn MacDonald, New Glasgow’s Director of Community Development. “The highly successful shows have now evolved into a series of productions in partnership with Glasgow Square and have been among the hottest tickets in town.”

Mike, Carlton and the Pop’s crew are backing it up another decade and will open the much anticipated the Pop Classics 60s Tribute at Glasgow Square on May 26th.

As much as the Pop Classics takes you back the performers want to give back too. A percentage of each show is directed to a needy cause. “The Pop Classics is about community, family and music,” says Mike Vienneau. “We belong to you!”