Kristin Chenoweth couldn’t help pointing out the obvious: “They’re hot,” the Broadway star said in her introduction of Well-Strung at a concert last year.
The four guys in the New York-based singing string quartet will be bringing their hotness, and their musicianship, to Theatre Baton Rouge’s stage on Friday in a benefit concert for the Krewe of Apollo.
Well-Strung will be performing in the “POPssical” style — a fusion of classical and pop — that the musicians have showcased on stages throughout the U.S.
They break into laughter upon mention of their muscled physiques because that’s just window dressing for what they hold really important — their music.
They’re four classically trained young men from different parts of the country who came together in 2012 to form a different kind of boy band, exposing audiences to Baroque, Bach, Mozart and Miley Cyrus in one concert.
Yes, they cover Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” They’ve also been noted for their fun rendition of Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go.”
“When you think about it, composers like Bach and Mozart were writing the popular music of their day,” said Daniel Shevlin, the group’s cellist. “It seems like a natural fit.”
Shevlin and fellow group members, second violinist Chris Marchant and violinist Trevor Wadleigh are all in on a call from their shared New York apartment. First violinist Edmund Bagnell also shares the residence.
They not only live, work out and rehearse together, but traveled to New Orleans earlier in the year to develop a new Christmas concert. The Crescent City is home to producer Mark Cortale, who, with Marchant, put the group together.
“New Orleans is such an inspirational city,” Shevlin said. “There’s such creativity there. You can see any number of performers on a daily basis there.”
Well-Strung will return to New Orleans to debut the show, “A Well-Strung Christmas,” for three performances at the Cafe Instanbul on Nov. 27-29.
“So, we’ll be spending Thanksgiving in New Orleans between the Baton Rouge and New Orleans shows,” Wadleigh said. “It will be my first time to experience cornbread dressing instead of the Yankee white bread dressing I’m used to.”
Wadleigh is a Seattle native; Shevlin is from New Jersey; Bagnell is from South Carolina and Marchant is an Ohio native.
Marchant was living in Provincetown, where he was playing his violin on a street corner, when he met Cortale. The producer invited Marchant to brunch and launched the idea of forming a different kind of string quartet in a world saturated with classical ensembles.
The idea seemed a natural to Marchant, who would listen to top 40 pop songs on his iPod between his street corner classical sets. Pink and Taylor Swift mixed perfectly with Beethoven and Ravel in his personal music world.
And it blended well on stage at the opening gala for the Walt Disney Theater in Orlando, Florida, a recent Provincetown Town Hall concert with Neil Patrick Harris and has garnered press from NBC’s “Today” show, CBS News, The New York Times, New York Magazine and The Huffington Post.
Now, the young musicians are bringing their blend of buff and music for a POPssical evening at Theatre Baton Rouge.