“The years between World War II and the Kennedy assassination were a special time,” says singer and choreographer Shonn Wiley. “There was an innocence to the music, and radio was the unifying factor. It didn’t matter if you loved the Beatles, or Johnny Cash, or the Four Seasons: everybody knew them all because they heard them on the radio.” That’s the musical vein mined by Wiley and his fellow members of Under the Streetlamp, a retro-style quartet performing tonight at the Ohio Theatre. This is the inaugural national tour for the young, Chicago-based foursome. Members first crossed paths while performing in various companies of Jersey Boys, the award-winning musical based on the lives of the Four Seasons; the group’s DVD has since gone on to become a centerpiece of P.B.S. fund drives. Each Streetlamper has a particular forte: founder Mike Ingersol belts out a mean Roy Orbison, Christopher Jones excels on soulful ballads, Michael Cunio is the rocker, and Wiley says he channels Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin “any chance I get.” But while each member can hold his own as a soloist, Wiley says their synergy is the real star. “Plus, our playlist contains some of the greatest songs ever written. It gives us permission to touch on all musical genres. And who knows? You might even see my strap on my tap shoes!” Things get tapping tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $39 by phone, online, or at the Playhouse Square box office.
— Elaine T. Cicora