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Doris Day persona performs for one day in Langley

Kristi King takes on the persona of actress and singer Doris Day for one performance in Langley on Saturday, Sept. 15 at WICA.  - Photo courtesy of Joan Merrill
Kristi King takes on the persona of actress and singer Doris Day for one performance in Langley on Saturday, Sept. 15 at WICA.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Joan Merrill

Memories will resurface as an audience is seamlessly transported back in time to a concert by Doris Day, legendary American actress and singer. In this performance, actress and singer Kristi King doesn’t simply play the part of Day; she takes on Day’s persona.

“Que Sera! Celebrating Doris Day” comes to Whidbey Island Center for the Arts for one performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.

Wearing blonde wigs and shimmering gowns, King brings 22 of Day’s iconic hits to life and relates many of Day’s life stories. Enjoy songs including “Que Sera, Sera,” “It’s Magic,” “Secret Love,” “A Guy is a Guy” and “Everybody Loves a Lover.”

“Kristi performs in the persona of Doris Day. She looks like her, she performs like her,” said Joan Merrill, producer. “I’m a big Doris Day fan and so is the singer. We just wanted to honor her.”

The show is for everyone, Merrill said.

“If they don’t know about Doris Day already, they’ll learn about her, or if they do know, it’ll bring back memories,” Merrill added.

Day was born in 1924 and her dancing talent transformed her into a child star. She and the boy she performed with had plans to head to Hollywood to perform, but at the age of 13, the car she was riding in was struck by a train. Along with Day’s leg, her dreams of dancing were smashed, Merrill said.

During her recovery, Day sang along to the radio and “her mother said ‘Ah-ha, she sings!’” Merrill said. Thus Day’s career as a band singer was born.

Her musical career blossomed, yielding such hits as “Sentimental Journey,” which was especially meaningful to soldiers returned from World War II.

At one point, Day’s agent invited her to a party. Although shy, Day attended and sang and was asked to try out for a movie, Merrill said. She starred in “Romance on the High Seas,” in which she sang “It’s Magic.”

She starred in 17 movies for Warner Brothers and two others with different studios.

“Most of them were musicals but she also demonstrated an acting talent,” Merrill said.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Day became the top box office star and transformed from a singer to a romantic comedy star, Merrill said. At the same time, she released best-selling albums in a parallel singing career.

In the late 1960s as rock ‘n’ roll was becoming popular, Day’s husband, who was also her agent, died. Her movie and singing contracts also ended and she learned that her husband had invested all of her money with a fraudulent firm.

“She found out she was penniless,” Merrill said.

Before he died, Day’s agent had signed her contract for TV and while she didn’t want to do it, Day became a TV star, with her own show, the Doris Day Show, for five years, Merrill said. After that, she left the business behind and moved to California to become an animal activist, creating such havens as a horse welfare shelter in Arizona.

“She’s instrumental in large animal projects,” Merrill said. “She’s alive and active at 88.”

Last year, a new Day album was released. It had been recorded in the 1980s with her son. The album, “My Heart,” went to the top of the charts.

“So Doris Day is not forgotten,” Merrill said.

While Day hasn’t seen King’s show, Merrill said that the people who have seen it “are extremely enthusiastic about it. It brings back memories of times when the songs were popular. They think Kristi really captures the persona of Doris Day… She knows how to connect with people.”

Like Day, King became a child star. She grew up in Portland, Ore. and has performed in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and more. This will be her first time performing in Langley, Merrill said.

“I selected communities that are cohesive communities that have theaters, and Langley has a lot of sophisticated people, and personally, I love Langley,” Merrill said.

King will be accompanied by the Seattle-based Hans Brehmer Quartet using arrangements based on the original recordings. Brehmer, the director and piano player, performs duets with King. Accompanying are Chuck Kistler on bass, Brad Boal on drums and Brad Smith on trumpet and flute.

A CD of songs from the show will be available for purchase at the event.

For more information, visit www.QueSeraTheMusical.com.

 

 

Doris Day plays for just one day

One show only at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.

WICA is located at 565 Camano Ave. in Langley.

Tickets cost $28 and are available at www.WICAonline.com or by calling 221-8268.

A portion of ticket proceeds goes to the Doris Day Animal Foundation.

A second showing will be at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 at the Lincoln Theater in Mount Vernon.

For more information, visit www.QueSeraTheMusical.com.

 

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