By GUY D’ASTOLFO
Chris Rutushin has a thing for Paris. Call it a romantic obsession with the great city’s turn-of-the-century era.
But he can’t just up and leave for the City of Light. And even if he could, he doesn’t have a time machine.
So he has put together an evening that might be the next best thing.
Dubbed “An Evening in Paris,” the event Friday at Cedars West End will include an orchestra assembled to play the music of the era — including Cole Porter and Gershwin, among others — and a troupe of girls dancing the can-can in costume.
Cotes du Rhone wine, absinthe and some classic turn-of-the-century drinks will be available, as will be crepes by Soleil Cafe.
“It isn’t any secret that I have an obsession, or rather a love affair, with Paris,” said Rutushin, a Youngstown-based musician and filmmaker. “Some would also say that I suffer from ‘Golden Age thinking,’ like Gil Pender in the film ‘Midnight in Paris.’”
Golden-age thinking is the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one you are living in. It’s a misperception, created in the imagination of people who possibly find it difficult to cope with the present.
Whatever the reason, “An Evening in Paris” will feature what is being called The Golden Age Orchestra, featuring Rutushin (vocals and acoustic guitar), Nathanael Welch (classical guitar and accordion), Jeff Bremer (upright bass), Donnie Yallech (drums and percussion), Lex Calder (keys and vocals), Sandi Quotson (violin), Rande Isabella (trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn) and Courtney Waskin (vocals).
Tribe of EOS members will become the Can-Can girls.
Rutushin’s love of Paris began about 10 years ago when he spent some time there.
“I just couldn’t leave,” he said. “It’s the reason why I didn’t get to see much of the rest of France. The beauty, culture, the people, the cafes, the music, the life, the history, walking the same streets as Hemingway, Modigliani, Picasso, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, all the greats ... it’s enchanting. I fell madly in love with the city just simply walking around.”
Last fall, Rutushin released an album by his band, Radio Lark. But of late, he has a new band, appropriately titled Letters from Paris, which includes himself, Welch, Bremer and Yallech.
Letters from Paris will releases a music video for its song “April,” which was shot in Mill Creek Park — in April.
“Lyrically, ‘April’ is a metaphor for a girl with whom I was in a relationship,” said Rutushin. “The month is absolutely beautiful, warm and bursting with life, but at any moment it can be tumultuous, cold and stormy.”
The music, he said, reflects the lyrics. “It’s supposed to represent a sunny day as rain moves in and turns into a storm and then tapers off,” he said.
April is portrayed by Jacqueline Sepesy in the video, which features Vincent Scacchetti on viola.