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A stage musical brings back the timeless sound of the Everly Brothers

Picking the songs for the show wasn’t easy—“There are so many and they’re all so good”

PORTLAND, Maine — When you put together two gifted singers who have a knack for harmonies, the results can be pleasing. When you put together two gifted singers who have a knack for harmonies and also happen to be siblings, the results can be exquisite.

Such was the case with the Everly Brothers. As “Rolling Stone” noted, “they recorded 15 Top Ten hits between 1957 and 1962, producing a mind-blowing blend of Appalachian harmonies and rock & roll that influenced the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Rolling Stones.”

The songs live on in “Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers,” a show being presented in Brunswick August 23, 24 and 25 by Portland Stage Company and Maine State Music Theatre. Eric Anthony and Ben Hope are the stars of the show as well as its creators. “One of the things that we found to be most challenging was picking the songs we might want to include,” Anthony says. “There are so many and they’re all so good.”

Part of the reason for the success of Phil and Don Everly was that they were in the right place at the right time. “They were folk artists,” Hope says. “But they were also early rock & roll artists, and they were country artists, and they were rhythm and blues artists. I think there’s something about the sound of their music that feels like it fills up all of those categories.”

Creating and performing in a show like this is work, of course, but it’s not like digging ditches. “You just gain a new respect for these guys for their artistry and how deeply talented they were and how beautifully they sang together,” Hope says. “It’s really been a pleasure.”

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