■ By Susan Carrier / Contributed
Season one of the Tribute Mania Concert Series at the Historic Hemet Theatre (HHT) is drawing to a close this month with hundreds of new fans adding to the success of the valley’s new Community Arts Center.
Last Saturday, The Rising was in town to perform their tribute to Bruce Springsteen to an auditorium of cheering fans. Although the crowd was the smallest of the season, the energy in the auditorium was electric and the dance floor filled from the first classic hit to the last. Tom Vitorino did a masterful job imitating “The Boss,” leaping and bouncing across the stage and dancing through the auditorium singing with the crowd.
Closing out season one on Saturday, April 28 will be a tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Petty passed away last October, raising interest in his long career of classic rock hits. His best known songs include, “Free Fallin’,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Refugee,” “Yer So Bad,” “American Girl” and “Don’t Do Me Like That.”
Dan Grennes performs lead for Petty and the Heartshakers with a look and sound that will astound the audience. Raised in the south like Petty, Grennes feels a unique connection to the life and music of the rock icon. With his team of all-star musicians, Grennes travels the country paying tribute to the musical legend.
Petty and the Heartshakers is Dan Grennes (lead vocals, guitar), Les Warner (bass), Chris Cicchino (lead guitar), Andy Gerold (drums), Brenda Fitz (keyboards), and Sara D’Arce (background vocals).
If you are a Petty fan in the valley, you are not alone. Tickets for the tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are selling fast and will almost certainly be gone by day of show, so stop by and pick up yours soon.
Showtime for all Tribute Mania concerts is 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $22 presale and $25 day of show.
HHT also features classic films for just $5 every Monday and Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. Coming up on Monday, April 23, “That Uncertain Feeling” (1941) starring Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, and Burgess Meredith, and on Tuesday, April 24, “The Headless Horseman” (1922) starring Will Rogers, Lois Meredith, and Ben Hendricks Jr.
Information on all theatre events is available at www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com or by calling the ticket office at 951-658-5950. A weekly email blast of upcoming events is available by enrolling on the website.
Event tickets are available online at www.PurplePass.com or at the theatre ticket office. Ticket office hours are Monday thru Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are also available at the Downtown Deli, 113 N. Harvard St., and the Harvard Street Music Exchange, 134 S. Harvard St.