Never mind the backdrop, the “foredrop” is the new thing

Little Peter & The Elegants practicing with “Toller Screen”

In the past you could always tell when a pro showband was about to take to the stage because you’d see them there ahead of time setting up their own lighting, sound and distinctive backdrop.

But now the “foredrop” is also a thing for some groups, since not all venues have adapted to the COVID-19 protocols by installing their own separators between performers and audience, so a group that wants to play anywhere needs their own.

The need is particularly acute for a big band like Little Peter & The Elegants, but group leader Peter Toller has risen to the challenge for today’s free 1-5 p.m. Labour Day show at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 643, at 110 Jutland Road in Etobicoke.

The 8-piece visually and vocally rich group is known for its strong presentation of Motown, R&B and Soul classics, including an extensive repertoire of Sha Na Na numbers, as we told you in April referencing a show from last summer.

“I have built a sneeze screen using thick clear shower curtain material that covers a stage 24 feet wide using for support three 7 foot poles in blocks of concrete. The curtain has a height of 4 feet so it covers from our waist to a height of 7 feet,” he tells us.

Although the “Toller Screen,” as we might call it, may not be ideal, since it seems, based on a pic from a rehearsal, a little difficult to see the band members’ faces from behind the screen, it will allow audience members to catch the motion of their trademark finale Sha Na Na shuffle off stage at the end of the show.

In addition to the band the Legion is also offering a BBQ and family activities for its holiday celebration.

By Gary 17,