A Review: Take Three dinner show packs house

A Review: Take Three  dinner show packs houseLindsay Deutsch, Jason Stoll, Lauren Jelencovich and Lila Yang perform “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds — Courtesy photo

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By BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

The Take Three Trio brought their blend of veteran musicianship and youthful energy to Ridgecrest last Friday. This performance marked the most recent of a steady stream of stellar acts brought to our area by the Indian Wells Concert Association.

Take Three was technically the “Take Four Quartet” that night, featuring New York vocalist Lauren Jelencovich. But cellist Lila Yang informed us that they weren’t going to spring for a new domain name.

Also joining the trio was pianist Jason Stoll, subbing for Van-Anh Nguyen. I was told this was his first performance with the gals, led by violinist Lindsay Deutsch.

But as the group caroused through a kinetic blend of classical virtuosity and modern pop melodies, their in-sync performance was a testament to their ability. They could have told me they had been playing together since they were Suzuki Strings students, and I would have believed them.

I had to arrive late, unfortunately missing the dinner portion of the show (the first time in my memory that the IWVCA hosted a dinner theater. More on that later). The first song I heard was Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” — featuring the crystal-clear and expressive voice of Jelencovich — bookended by themes from Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.” (See what they did there?)

They took an unexpected turn to the video-game world, playing their arrangement of the epic theme song to the hit battle-royal game “Fortnite.” Deutsch took the spotlight here, frantically shredding the violin before taking a complete U-turn into a Beethoven medley.

The rest of the concert was as eclectic, featuring music from Bach to Stevie Wonder. The group demonstrated some of the finest musicianship I’ve seen in the local area and had something for everyone.

After the performance, the performers came down to meet and great with the audience. After chatting about Beethoven, Mozart and video games, I learned Stoll is from the Antelope Valley and Yang hails from the Inland Empire. With Deutsch having studied in Los Angeles, there’s hope you can get the chance to see them in the Southern California area in the near future.

When they’re not busy playing around the world with Yanni, that is. Yeah, that’s their regular gig. No big deal.

Sage Hall at DEF served as a new location for IWVCA performances and was dolled up – looking more like a Hollywood entertainment lounge. Roaming Dog Kitchen served dinner with a bar hosted by Casey's BBQ and the house the house was absolutely packed.

Take Three comes on the heels of Kenny Metcalf and The Queens’ Six, some of the best performances I’ve seen locally in years. The IWVCA is certainly taking things up a notch this year and I hope they can keep it up.

The Concert Association will hold another dinner theater March 14, featuring “Catapult – the Magic of Shadow Dance.” Beyond introducing dinner theaters, the IWVCA has broadened its member services and now includes ride sharing as well. To support the organization’s goal to continually provide quality entertainment for the Ridgecrest area, visit iwvca.tripod.com or contact iwvca@hotmail.com to become a member.

Visit the trio's website take3music.com for more information. For future Concert Association performances and more info, visit iwvca.tripod.com.

Story First Published: 2019-03-01