Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Swings 

Into Robins

Theatre

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

BBVD

Cheryl Warfield

Cheryl Warfield

Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon Cutting

Dana Morgan

Dana Morgan

Cheryl Warfield

Cheryl Warfield

Dana Morgan

Dana Morgan

Dana Morgan

Dana Morgan

Dennis Drummond

Dennis Drummond

Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon Cutting

January 10, 2020

The beautifully refurbished Robins Theatre in downtown Warren had its Grand Opening last night.  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was the perfect band to christen this gem which originally opened its doors on January 9, 1923.  This swing/jazz/tin pan alley band plays the type of music that harkens back to a time when music venues were known for their beauty and people would dress up for a night out on the town.

 

All of this came full circle as concert goers got their first look at the hand painted details on the ceiling and walls of the theatre as well as the impressive chandelier hanging in the lobby area.  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy may have been the headliners, but the Robins Theater itself was the star of the show.

 

It was a black-tie affair for many of the attendees, as the owners of the theatre got to welcome the guests and publically thank everyone who had a hand in the project.  

 

The theatre sat dormant for over forty years until the Downtown Development Group decided to take over the theatre in 2017.   They had a plan to bring the theatre back to life, and two years later, their goal was accomplished.

 

The night started off with a ten minute film about the history of the theatre.  It showed pictures of the old marquee and neon lights, old cartoons, newsreel footage and some movie clips that were popular back in the day. 

 

Before the headliners took the stage, the audience was treated to performances by three hometown heros.  First up was soprano Cheryl Warfield. She wowed the audience with two opera selections and a tune from Show Boat that she previously performed on Broadway.  The second performer was Dana Morgan. This concert pianist tickled the ivories with a medley of tunes that covered ragtime, jazz, blues and George Girshwin.  Finally, Dennis Drummond, a Season 13 contestant on The Voice sang and played a cover of Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good” and an original tune to warm up the audience.

 

At just after 9:00, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy took the stage to a nearly sold-out crowd.  Featuring a very impressive five-man horn section, a stand up bassist, a pianist, a drummer and vocalist/guitarist Scotty Morris, the band was jumping and jiving from the get-go.

 

After the second song, Morris told the audience that they take their music very serious, however they do like to have some fun.  With that, they went into a great version of “Ol’ MacDonald” that had a few changes in the lyrics.

 

Morris also noted that he discovered much of his musical knowledge through cartoons, more specifically, Tom and Jerry.  The band played an excellent cover of Louis Jordan’s “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby” which was featured in that cartoon.

 

Plenty of original tunes were played as well like “Mr. Pinstripe Suit,” “Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days” and “You & Me & The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby).”  However the Cab Calloway hit “Minnie The Moocher” was a big crowd pleaser as it became a huge call and response between Morris and the audience.

 

The ninety minute set came to a close with the final two songs of the evening, “Mr. Heatmizer” and “So Long-Farewell-Goodbye.”

 

They were the perfect band to open a perfect venue on a perfect night.

Review and photos by Greg Drugan

All Content ©NCMB LLC, All Rights Reserved.  All images and Articles copyrighted by NCMB, LLC and may not be reproduced, copied, or altered without prior written permission.