Boyz II Men concert at the Lyric has wide appeal

Friday, October 5, 2012

By Ginny Beagan

After talking with several people who attended last year's Boyz II Men concert at The Lyric Theatre downtown, I am sorry I missed it — and much to the chagrin of my co-workers, I can't stop singing "End of the Road."

This Friday and Saturday, Boyz II Men are performing in Stuart's oldest theater for the third year in a row.  Daisy Carter of Stuart went to the each of the previous concerts and is looking forward to going this weekend. Carter retired to Stuart from the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department and remembers when the Boyz were students at The Philadelphia High School of the Performing Arts. She has been following their career ever since.  Carter meets with the band backstage after the show to reminisce about the old days.  "They're still the neighborhood kids but they're the neighborhood kids that made it big," Carter said.

The group has been around since the early 1990s and they are among the biggest names in a cappella and R&B. They have sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, including their latest, "Twenty" which was released in 2011. This January, they were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But the concert is not just for the children of the '90s. The R&B group mixes it up with crossover appeal. Expect to hear their chart-topping classics, "End of the Road," "I'll Make Love to You," and "One Sweet Day," along with some gospel and Motown. The talented trio say they try to make their three-part harmony sound like a hundred parts and the attendees I spoke to say the group succeeds.

"Last year, everyone was standing in the aisles, from Glee club age students to 70- to 80-year-old patrons," said Kia Hamill, assistant executive director of The Lyric Theatre.  Hamill said Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris and Shawn Stockman all love the smaller venue because they can see the audience.  "They feel reconnected to their supporters here," Hamill said.

Stuart resident Mike Braid, 63, describes last year's show as energetic, upbeat and fun.  "They were chatty and seemed really appreciative of their audience," Braid said.  While crooning their biggest hit, "Make Love to You," each of the singers hand out red roses to women in the crowd.  Jacqueline Valencia, 29, of Port St. Lucie is another fan coming for the third time to The Lyric for Boyz II Men. She said she wouldn't want to see them perform anywhere else.

"The intimacy of this setting is great and it's right in our backyard."

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