Blue Magic sizzles at New Horizon Theater

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New Horizon Theater, Inc. chairperson Joyce Meggerson-Moore felt this year’s annual event featuring ’70s soul crooners Blue Magic was a definite success.

The event was held May 1 at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty.

“They were nice guys and the put on a good show. The show was a success and people said they loved it better than all the other ones we’ve had,” Meggerson-Moore said.

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CENTER STAGE—New Horizon Theater’s Joyce Meggerson-Moore greets Blue Magic.

The group came out wearing white suits trimmed in blue and cast their magic on the ladies through beautiful ballads including “What’s Come Over Me,” “Three Ring Circus,” “Spell” and “Sideshow.”

“We want you to sit back, relax and enjoy the sounds of Blue Magic,” said original group member Wendell Sawyer.

And that’s exactly what the audience did.

One of the many bright spots of the night occurred when the band members took a break from performing and asked the audience trivia questions about the group’s 38-year history. Winners of the trivia questions were given Blue Magic CDs and DVDs.

“I’m proud of Pittsburgh. We were here in the ’70s and it was an industrial town and now you’ve grown. We like Pittsburgh,” Sawyer said. “As soon as we got into town we were treated like kings. We travel all over the world, but this place is really something. New Horizon Theater is a class act.”

Blue Magic was formed in Philadelphia in 1972 by Sawyer, his brother Vernon, and singer-songwriter Ted Mills. Blue Magic was one of the earliest acts signed by Norman Harris, a Philadelphia records veteran. The group’s first album, released in 1973, was primarily confined to the R&B charts.

When “Sideshow” was released a year later, the song was Blue Magic’s first million-selling Top 10 hit. It climbed to No. 8 and topped the R&B chart. Their next release, “Three Ring Circus” also did well. It reached No. 36 on the pop chart and No. 5 on the R&B chart.

Instead of showing an excerpt from one of the season’s productions, New Horizon decided to do something a bit different and have an opening singing act before Blue Magic.

New York native, Stan “The Man” Hampton, paid homage to late soul singer Teddy Pendergrass, who died from respiratory failure earlier this year at the age of 59 in Philadelphia.

“Teddy is a big favorite of mine,” Stan said.

Stan, who lives in Hampton, Va., made the ladies swoon during his five-song set which included “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” “My Latest Greatest Inspiration” and “Somebody Loves You Back,”

The romantic singer, who wore a yellow suit with blue accessories, gave out long-stemmed red roses to the women in the audience. Two audience members were so infatuated with Stan and his gorgeous voice that they became really boisterous and were asked by personnel to sit down.

“Somebody call security. We want Stan the Man to leave alive,” said Christopher T. Moore, who served as master of ceremonies for the evening.

After the knockout performances, orchestra ticket holders were treated to reception catered by The Gourmet Dessert Apple Company and a meet and greet session with Blue Magic and Stan “The Man” Hampton.

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