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Big-Band Floor Show Comes to Vienna

Benefit fundraiser for SCOV is next-best thing to the Copacabana nightclub.

Doc Scantlin and his wife Chou Chou bring their high-octane floor show, with a cast of 23, to Vienna on Oct. 28, in a benefit performance for the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna. Doc Scantlin and the Imperial Palms Orchestra feature the music and mood of the 20s, 30s and 40s.

Doc Scantlin and his wife Chou Chou bring their high-octane floor show, with a cast of 23, to Vienna on Oct. 28, in a benefit performance for the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna. Doc Scantlin and the Imperial Palms Orchestra feature the music and mood of the 20s, 30s and 40s. Photo contributed

If you know who Glenn Miller was, what drugstore soda fountains were, or if you have ever watched a Thin Man film, the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna [SCOV] is returning you to those times.

On Oct. 28 in the hall of Vienna Presbyterian Church, SCOV presents prominent entertainers Doc Scantlin and Chou Chou, and their entourage of dancers and musicians, in a swing-music benefit. Scantlin calls their World War II-era show “high-energy” and “spirited.”

“It’s all about having fun,” said Scantlin, band leader of his Imperial Palms Orchestra. “It’s a party.” The music ranges from the romantic classics of the 30s and 40s, such as “As Time Goes By,” to humorous novelty tunes—like “Minnie the Moocher”—that were the rage in those days.

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Miss Rosita Conchita Chi Wow Wow leads a conga line.

Doc and Chou Chou, married and living in southern Maryland, present their shows primarily as dance opportunities at galas and corporate events. Concerts offer a different and challenging opportunity to entertain guests. There’s lots of visuals, such as dance routines and costume changes. “We really like doing concerts,” Scantlin said. “Everyone is paying attention to the band. You have to entertain them; that’s our main incentive. The pressure is on and we like that.”

The show includes 23 performers, including 15 musicians and four chorus girls. Think back to the nightclubs of the 20s, 30s and 40s, and you get a feel for Doc and Chou Chou’s show. Chou Chou, said Scantlin, does a lot of solos, going out into the audience, singing, to interact and engage the guests. She hands roses to the women and flirts with the men. There’s a woman in the show who does Carmen Miranda-inspired routines, and a roving “cigarette girl” who sells candy rather than tobacco products. Doc and Chou Chou have been lighting up ballrooms throughout the Washington area for a couple of decades with their brand of nostalgia, big band music with oversized theatrics.

“We wanted something really different this year,” said Jayne Young, office administrator of SCOV. “Doc and Chou Chou are just so exciting and unique. This concert is going to be a lot of fun for everyone.”

Whether you remember “In the Mood” or “Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy of Company C” or are a fan of 40s and 50s movies, both Young and Scantlin say the Imperial Palms Orchestra offers a sophicated interpretation of the music that became standards of the industry.

“I want people to leave saying, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’” said Scantlin.

Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra, along with soloist Chou Chou and chorus girls, perform on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 3 p.m., at Vienna Presbyterian Church, 124 Park St. NE. Advance-purchase tickets are $20; $25 at the door. For more information or to reserve tickets, call 703-281-0538, or e-mail office@scov.org.

Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11ep_wWRlqI for a clip.

SCOV was voted the 2012 Nonprofit of the Year by the Vienna Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce. It provides services, enrichment programs, social programs and volunteer opportunities for senior adults. See www.scov.org for details on the center’s mission.