Singer Robert Larrabee brings ‘legends tribute’ to City

Singer Robert Larrabee brings his show ‘An Evening With the Legends’ to the Red Deer Royal Canadian Legion Feb. 13th-14th.

Larrabee has been a professional entertainer for more than 25 years, and performed as a multiple full costume, audience interactive, tribute artist with his show ‘An Evening With The Legends.’

He does more than 50 impersonations through the course of the performance. He’s also released a new CD Middle of Something, which is available on iTunes.

Larrabee laughs as he recalls his boyhood when his urge to entertain began to surface.

“It wasn’t perceived as a gift back then – more of an annoyance,” he laughs, remembering how teachers often felt about his antics. “You put me in a classroom, and for some reason I felt like it was an audience.”

As the years passed, that penchant to perform only grew stronger.

“I was really into Elvis back then,” he explains, adding when he hit the stage and sang an Elvis song, there was an undeniable response. “I knew that this might be a career.”

He was approached and asked if he had considered doing this professionally, and that’s how it all started. Larrabee hit the road with a band and performed Elvis tunes from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. “This was in 1984, so Elvis hadn’t been gone too long at that point. It was a real specialty niche thing at the time – there weren’t 30,000 ‘Elvis guys’ running around like there is now.”

The response was amazing. “People showed up in droves to see that show. It was really quite special.” Later on, a show called ‘Elvis, Elvis, Elvis’ hired him and he traveled overseas with them.

He later ventured into Celebrations Dinner Theatre, and found he had a knack for acting and musical theatre. “I thought, why not write a show that’s got the elements of this audience interaction and include characters and used piped music?”

Hence ‘An Evening With the Legends’ was born. The legends run the gamut from Roy Orbison, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, Tom Jones and Sammy Davis Jr. to Rod Stewart, Buddy Holly and Neil Diamond.

The uniqueness of the show wasn’t lost on audiences – folks would often tell him they weren’t expecting the comic elements to be woven into the performance.

“That spurred me on to include more characters and write more shtick, and make it more and more creative,” he said. “It ended up being my tribute to the artists instead of a full-blown impersonation. It gave me more room to move, and to make it more entertaining.”

Larrabee points to the warm feelings of nostalgia his show also stirs up.

“It’s part of someone’s life. Someone may have gotten married when one of these songs was playing, someone had their first kiss when one of these songs was playing. The people that come out and support the show, they wax nostalgic about the songs because these were moments in their lives.”

Meanwhile, his own creative journey continues to take shape – and have an influence – in other ways as well. This past summer, he was contacted about donating time for the Wounded Warrior fundraiser in Slave Lake.

“When I arrived in my minivan I drove past hundreds of people lining the roads and streets cheering for these soldiers, I witnessed men and woman with prosthetic limbs jumping out of planes, putting up tents, and stages, servicemen and woman,” he said. “I was struck with a profound sense that I really didn’t have a clue what service work was.”

He stayed up most of the night writing a song about hope and survival as he felt that was what was needed.

The next day he sang the song Warrior Will Survive.

“Now the tune is in Nashville and my producer Dave Bechtel has it almost done. So to say I was blown away with my trip to Slave Lake is an understatement, the tune will be done next week and it is beautiful we have a marching snare, bagpipes, bugles playing Taps and The Last Stand.”

Meanwhile, he’s planning on doing as many shows as he can.

“I’m contacting all the Legions and asking if they will host my show, anyone else that has a venue and a desire to give back to these Warriors is welcome to host my show, too.

“I will be also performing some of my own music, and ending the show with the new song Warrior Will Survive which will be downloadable on iTunes in the next few weeks, again with a portion benefiting Wounded Warriors.”

For more information about his Red Deer appearance, call 403-342-0035.

Just Posted

Team Alberta adds nine medals on day two of competition at Canada Winter Games

Team Alberta had a solid day at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Canada Games action from the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Wheelchair basketball, short-track speedskating draw large crowds

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony welcomes athletes from across Canada

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Body found after apparent house explosion in Calgary, police investigating

Sgt. Dwayne Lepchuk declined to say whose remains were found

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Pope Francis has urged participants to meet with abuse victims before they came to Rome

Ex-FBI official: ‘Crime may have been committed’ by Trump

Andrew McCabe said FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia

Most Read