Under the Streetlamp
When their successful run in the Chicago company of Jersey Boys ended, performers in the Tony-winning musical were all ready for their next gig. They’d formed a group, Under the Streetlamp, and their mission was to stand on the shoulders of the artists that created the classic hits from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s that they loved. With a unique blend of harmonies and slick dance moves, Under the Streetlamp played to sold-out audiences around Chicagoland.
The talented musicians caught the eye of a local producer, who thought that their “nostalgic rebirth of retro rock ‘n roll” could have a home on PBS, where their sound would reach millions across the country. They filmed a short promo and presented it to WTTW, the PBS station in Chicago. The response? “You film a concert; we will be the presenting station.” Their first show, Under the Streetlamp Live, aired on PBS and led to tours around the country. They even opened for the Temptations. A second special was also a PBS hit and the guys began touring in Europe and Mexico. They released a holiday album, Every Day’s a Holiday, that premiered on Sirius XM radio, and a third PBS concert, Under the Streetlamp: Rockin’ Round the Clock, hit the air in 2016.
Since then, the talented four, made up of Shonn Wiley, David Larsen, Brandon Wardell and Eric Gutman, have performed with orchestras that include the Utah, Phoenix, Milwaukee and Detroit Symphonies and the Cleveland Pops. In 2019, they made their New York debut at the Sony Music Hall.
In a 2019 review of their performance with the Nashville Symphony, Jeffrey Ellis called them “Handsome, charming, engaging and amazingly talented. No matter how many times you’ve seen them, (whether it’s your first or twenty-first concert,) there’s one thing you cannot help but think about Under the Streetlamp: these four guys really know how to put on a show. In Nashville, where we know a thing or two about superstar performers, consummate professionals and dazzling musicians, anyone who can bring their audience to its feet in a genuine, heartfelt standing ovation…deserves their moment in the spotlight.”
For Shonn Wiley, the shows are about the music and the audiences. “My favorite Streetlamp moment is meeting our fans at the end of each show. Music is inside all of us. That’s why our hearts have beats. Over the years, this defines so many important moments. I like hearing about the memories of our fans. We are definitely in the business of nostalgia and our audiences never shy away from telling us how much fun they’ve had.”
Over the past 10 years, no matter how the personnel have changed, the goal of Under the Streetlamp has remained clear: to breathe new life into timeless songs so that audiences leave with a smile.
Come see this modern-day Rat Pack. You’ll see why retro never sounded so now and you’ll leave with a smile.