‘Beatlemania’ veteran Tony Kishman to perform with Wichita Symphony Orchestra

04/27/2014 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:34 AM

He looks like Paul McCartney. He sounds like Paul McCartney. And he performs like Paul McCartney – but he’s not the pop star giant.

On Saturday, Tony Kishman, who toured for six years as the legendary Beatle in the Broadway hit “Beatlemania,” will perform the music of Paul McCartney with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

“Tony Kishman is a wonderful performer and showman, and he looks and sounds very much like Paul McCartney,” said Daniel Hege, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra’s music director and conductor. “The music of Paul McCartney and the Beatles lends itself to orchestral treatment better than many pop stars’ music.”

Hege said the Beatles’ music has staying power because the melodies are catchy and memorable, and the music is energizing. “The fullness of sound will be incredible,” he said.

Kishman is honored to perform such classics as “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday” and “When I’m 64” alongside the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. “Live and Let Die” is the last concert of WSO’s season.

“Paul has such an amazing voice that even today he is still singing wonderfully and with such power in every line he sings,” Kishman said. “My first concert I attended seeing McCartney was in London. He was truly amazing to watch and listen to.”

Although Kishman has never met the rock star, he was thrilled when McCartney complimented him in a newspaper article.

This Tucson, Ariz., native sang in both his high school and college choirs. After graduating, he performed in several bands. A talented musician, Kishman plays the bass, piano and guitar. In 1977 he was cast in the role of McCartney in “Beatlemania.” He traveled the globe with the cast until 1983.

Now he tours internationally again; except this time it’s his smooth vocals alongside an 80-piece orchestra.

Kishman has toured with “Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney” for six years and said he loves feeling the excitement from the audience.

“Paul was the spoon that stirred the pot in the Beatles,” Kishman said. “I had to try this show, and after its massive success we are very happy with the results.”

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