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Canadian ensemble turns it up to turn you on.

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Bowfire cellist Wendy Solomon may not look sexy with her bulky instrument propped between her thighs. But the Toronto native claims she feels like a big-band tease as she accompanies the 15-piece ensemble on a 23-city U.S. tour that stops at Playhouse Square tonight. "The classical program hasn't compromised my musical integrity," says Solomon, whose husband, Lenny, founded the ensemble in 2000. "I fill in harmonically, and I get to musically flirt with everybody else onstage."Come-hither eyes aside, the Canadian ensemble's repertoire isn't strictly classical. Since its debut in Germany, the company has proved it's agile enough to shift from jazz to bluegrass to Texas swing with a single stroke of the bow. The proof can be seen on its latest DVD, which was recorded live in Ontario last May and has aired several times on PBS. For Lenny Solomon, the troupe's leap to international stardom has been a long time in the works. "I see it as an eight-year overnight success. It's not like we put this together, and we were huge stars," he says. "It's taken a while for us to present new things to new audiences, and it requires some investment." Bowfire performs at 7:30 tonight at the State Theatre, 1519 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $31 to $51. Call 216-241-6000 or visit www.playhousesquare.org.
Tue., April 29, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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