Posts made in June 2008

Blue Moon Big Band Goes Hollywood!

Blue Moon Big Band Goes Hollywood!

– Band members to appear in the 2009 feature film, My One and Only, starring Renee Zellweger, Kevin Bacon, and Chris Noth –

Baltimore, MD – June 25, 2008 – Maryland-based Blue Moon Big Band (www.bluemoonbigband.com), an authentic 1940s style swing orchestra that specializes in the timeless music of the American big band era, today announced its scheduled appearance in the 2009 major motion picture release of My One and Only, starring Renee Zellweger, Kevin Bacon, and Chris Noth.

The Storyline and The Cast

Set in the 1950s, My One and Only stars Renee Zellweger (Anne Devereaux) as a divorced mother scouring the Eastern seaboard for a man to be both a father to her two sons and a financier for her lavish lifestyle. Kevin Bacon plays her Ex, a band leader who Devereaux leaves behind when she embarks on the trip. Chris Noth, well-known for his role as Mr. Big in Sex and the City, plays a retired Army doctor who briefly finds himself in Devereaux’s sights, and Steven Weber, recently on Brothers and Sisters and star of the 1990s sitcom Wings, plays a potential suitor. Viewers will recognize additional familiar faces in the film, including Nick Stahl of HBO’s Carnivale, who plays another potential suitor, as well as Logan Lerman (3:10 to Yuma) and Mark Rendall (30 Days of Night), who play the parts of Devereaux’s sons. Robin Weigert, best known as Calamity Jane on HBO’s Deadwood, plays Anne Devereaux’s sister. Cleo Reginald Pizana (Chief of Staff Coleman Parker on The Wire), plays the part of one of the band’s trombonists. Holly Palmer, a real-life Los Angeles-based singer, plays the part of the band’s bombshell vocalist.

Filming of the Movie

Filming of My One and Only, the first project financed by New Jersey-based Herrick Entertainment, began in early June and is expected to run through July. The movie is scheduled for release in 2009. Blue Moon Big Band was on location for filming at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Baltimore in late June. The Center’s unique architecture gives it the distinction as one of the most beautiful monumental buildings in the nation, and the banquet hall features one of the largest dance floors in Charm City. The band is also scheduled for additional filming at other Baltimore locations in early July.

Casting Blue Moon Big Band

Bandleader Rob Leonard responded to a casting call for a swing orchestra issued by Betsy Royall Casting, C.S.A., in late April. “Ms. Royall responded almost immediately to my request for consideration,” said Leonard, “and appeared to be very interested in our recording and performance credentials as well as the fact that many of our musicians are from the immediate Baltimore area.” The band will be recording its sixth album in July and has sold CDs in all 50 states as well as 11 international territories. It has also appeared on both live and pre-recorded television programs and was a featured performer on a one-hour National Public Radio special presentation in 2002.

“I felt an immediate interest in Blue Moon Big Band,” commented Royall. “The orchestra’s resume was quite impressive and it was clear from the audio clips and musician profiles on the band’s website that the band members were accomplished and professional. We were excited to bring Blue Moon Big Band into the project.” With the film set in the early 1950s, certain casting constraints soon came into play. “The director wanted only 12 musicians because the bandleader role was to be played by Kevin Bacon and Cleo Reginald Pizana from The Wire was scheduled to appear as one of the band’s trombonists,” said Leonard. “We are a 19-piece orchestra modeled after the likes of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and other legends of the great American Swing Era. So that created an interesting challenge in determining who from the band could be in the film. In addition, bands did not typically have female musicians back then, so more cuts to the potential roster needed to be made. All in all,” added Leonard, “we trimmed the group to 12 based mostly on tenure with the band as well as instrumentation requested by the studio.”

Associated Events

Leonard is currently in discussion with historic and visible Baltimore venues with regard to associated promotional events surrounding the release of the film in 2009. “It’s a bit premature to mention exactly what we’re working on simply because several agreements and approvals need to be put in place,” the bandleader noted, “but if we can pull together some of the ideas I have in mind, then we can expect to see some very exciting performance opportunities for the band in conjunction with the premier of My One and Only next The band on location with vocalist Holly Palmer year. Considering the limitation of only 12 musicians in the film,” he continued, “it will be great to have the entire 19-piece orchestra on the bandstand for these events.”

Among the venues referenced by Leonard is The Senator Theatre, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has served as home of countless movie premiers. Senator owner Tom Kiefaber commented, “If The Senator is designated as the site for the gala premiere of My One and Only, we would love to have Blue Moon Big Band perform as part of the festivities. The Senator is a location used in the film,” he added, “so we’re really looking forward to hosting the premiere celebration.” In 1991, USA Today voted The Senator one of the four best theaters in the United States based on a reader’s poll.

About Blue Moon Big Band

Formed in May 1998, Blue Moon Big Band is an authentic 1940s style swing orchestra specializing in the timeless music of the great American big band era. Performing for audiences throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, Maryland-based Blue Moon Big Band has entertained for thousands of guests at large events and for as few as several dozen listeners and dancers at more intimate settings. The band has performed at both live and recorded television and radio events, including a 2002 feature presentation on National Public Radio. Its music has been played on over 60 radio stations across the U.S. and Blue Moon Big Band has recorded 5 CDs, with sales in all 50 U.S. states and 11 international territories. Blue Moon Big Band has worked with some of the area’s top dance instructors, including the 2001 American Lindy Hop Champions, and can arrange lessons before the event. The full orchestra, as well as its smaller partner ensemble Li’l Bit of Blue, is available for wedding receptions, corporate