David Bowie comes to life on a downtown Barrie stage during Promenade Days. The performance was at the request of Barrie fans.
“We kind of took a straw poll of the audience and this won out so it’s kind of by popular demand,” said Jeremy Wright, who was here last year to do a different tribute show. “We went through a few acts that we perform and Bowie was the one people wanted to see the most.”
Of all the tribute shows Wright has in his repertoire, David Bowie is a passion project. It is in part because the English singer songwriter and actor was such an interesting, fun character to play.
Wright has chosen the Serious Moonlight Tour as the focus of the show. The original tour took place in 1983 and it marked Bowie’s return to the radio hits that catapulted him to mass popularity in the early 1970s. The tour coincided with the release of Bowie’s album Let’s Dance.
The Barrie show will include some of Bowie’s biggest hits performed by a five piece band that includes a live saxophone and vocals.
“Be ready for a lot of dancing and lots of upbeat things and a couple of album cuts,” he said, adding that it’s not just a bunch of guys standing on stage playing. “It’s a full character thing. I think people are going to have a really good time.”
The show was several years in the making. He started working on it in 2015 and it came together gradually. It includes some of Wright’s favourite Bowie songs such as Life on Mars and Young Americans.
He started out in 2009 with Paul McCartney songs, playing local shows and posting videos online. That led to performing on cruise ships, which he still continues to do during the winter months.
“I fell into because I always wanted to do theatre and I kind of look on it as musical theatre – a Mirvish, Broadway style thing with costumes and all the mannerism,” said Wright who has been performing tribute shows since 2011. “I love taking on different characters.”
Growing up in Whitby, Wright did a lot of musical theatre and the tribute shows are an extension of that interest. He took violin lessons when he was younger which gave him an understanding of theory. By the time he was in his teens, he was writing classical music. He also learned to play a variety of instruments and occasionally plays them on stage.
His post-secondary education was in psychology. Wright is currently based in Hamilton where he is married with two young daughters under the age of three.
The ‘Serious Moonlight’ tribute to David Bowie unfolds on Sunday, June 30 at 8:30 p.m. on the downtown Meridian Place stage at Promenade Days.