For that blue jean baby, L.A. lady, and all the tiny dancers out there, Long Beach Symphony is opening its 2022-23 Pops season with “Remember When Rock Was Young: The Elton John Tribute,” promising to captivate audiences with the signature sound and style of the famed pianist and singer.
“Long Beach Symphony is thrilled to present the greatest hits of the legendary and prolific, Sir Elton John, in this Pops Pride performance which also celebrates our LGBTQ+ community,” said LBSO President Kelly Ruggirello.
Under the direction of Maestro Eckart Preu, and starring renowned Elton John tribute artist Craig A. Meyer on the piano and on vocals, the symphony will perform a number of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s most beloved 1970’s classics, as well as Tony winning Broadway hits, including Can You Feel The Love Tonight from “The Lion King.”
Meyer—with, of course, the Rocket Man’s signature sparkly shades and platform shoes—considers himself as much musician as illusionist. With a background on Broadway, he’s performed as “Almost Elton John” for the past 15 years, starring in nearly 100 shows annually around the world, and is widely considered the next closest thing to the British superstar.
“I lovingly call Almost Elton my superhero alter ego,” he said. “I step in a phone booth and walk out wearing a cape. I’m still Craig, but I’m also this other entity. It’s fun to step into somebody else’s heels for a while, if you will.”
When it comes to picking a favorite song by Sir Elton John, Meyer said there’s no such thing because he loves them all. Plus, he noted, the songs play differently depending on the unique energy of each crowd experiencing them.
“You have generations of families at these shows, and they all have a different connection to the music and to a time in their lives that was important to them,” he said. “Everybody has a different connection to the music, but it’s all still very personal. I get to be a part of that magic.”
It wouldn’t be any easier for him to pick a favorite costume, but the shoes are always a crowd-pleaser.
“We had a little girl about 3-years-old at a show,” he said. “She came to the post show meet and greet to see my sparkly shoes … she had some too, and we compared. It was a great moment.”
The Elton John Tribute will rock the Long Beach Arena on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m., with the doors opening at 6:30 for indoor picnicking. There’s also a dance floor. Individual concert tickets start at $30, three-concert sample packs start at $99 and five-concert season subscriptions start at $95.
Long Beach Symphony sponsors include Farmers & Merchants Bank and Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg. The concert was organized in partnership with The LGBTQ Center-Long Beach, Long Beach Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Schulzman-Neri Foundation.
Tickets are available online now.