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The Who Album to Come Alive on Morristown MPAC Stage

'Who's Next' will be performed by Phil Naro as part of the Classic Albums Live series.

The following was submitted by Ellen Wilkowe on behalf of the Morristown Mayo Performing Arts Center. Have something you'd like to share with the community? Upload it here.

This album landed on Rolling Stone Magazine’s coveted 500 Greatest Albums of All Times list, and in the esteemed top 30 to boot.

Come Feb. 28, The Who’s, “Who’s Next” album will come to life on stage at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.

It’s all part of Classic Albums Live, a 10-year-old music series which promises “note, for note and cut for cut,” the recreation of top rock albums, minus the impersonations and cheese factor.  The brainchild of Craig Martin, Classic Albums Live employs top-notch seasoned musicians, many who were raised on the very music they are recreating.

“It’s in our DNA,” said Phil Naro, lead singer for Classic Albums Live rendition of The Who. “We all grew up on it.”

Released in 1971, “Who’s Next” includes timeless classics like “Going Mobile,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Baba O’Reilly” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” the latter two which are currently used as the opening songs on the popular CBS series:  CSI: New York and CSI: Miami (CSI: Las Vegas features the song, “Who Are You,” from the namesake album, released in 1978).

A daytime Emmy award-winning performer, Naro performs in numerous Classic Album Live capacities such as Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America.”

The recreation of an album is not exact duplication but it comes close, he said.

“You try to go for all the notes and get the background down, but we also maintain our own styles,” Naro said. 

Incepted in 2003, Classic Album Live conquers Queen’s “A Night at The Opera,” The Beatles’: “Abbey Road” and “Hard Day’s Night,” Led Zeppelin’s “IV,” Pink Floyd’s, “Dark Side of the Moon” and more.

A Rochester native and lifelong musician Naro has been immersed in the music scene since his teens. Using bar bands as a springboard to hone his four-octave range, he furthered his career in Toronto, where he joined the band Chain Reaction, and then went on to front Billy Sheehan’s band, Talas.

Naro has also collaborated with former Kiss drummer, Peter Criss, Lou Gramm, former lead singer of Foreigner as well as fellow performers from Classics Album Live.

He added Classic Albums Live to his repertoire after a friend introduced him to Craig Martin, and the beat went on.

A typical show lasts wo hours, including an interactive intermission. “I usually go out and talk to the audience and get involved,” Naro said. 

The series attracts a multi-generational audience, ranging in age from 25-60 years old.

“There are kids there with their moms and dads saying ‘hey, my parents raised me on this stuff,’” he said.  “And I say, ‘great job, mom and dad.’”

Showtime is 8 p.m. and admission is $29-$55. Tickets are available for purchase at www.mayoarts.org or 973-539-8008.

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