“Hoboken to Hollywood: A Journey Through the Great American Songbook,” has been playing to sold-out crowds and critical acclaim for several months at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. That trip from Hoboken to Hollywood required a few stops in Glendale, however, to achieve its success.
“H to H” puts theater-goers in the audience at a taping of a Frank Sinatra network television special in the 1960s. The show is a mix of comedy and music. Luca Ellis plays Sinatra and carries the show with his impersonation. He manages not only to hit the timbre of the Chairman of the Board, but also nails the phrasing and “cool” of the great crooner. Backing his performance is the 12-piece band powered by Glendale names.
Craig Kupka, who taught music and led the bands at Glendale’s Hoover High School from 1994 through 2010, is the lead trombone.
His students Colin Kupka (Craig’s son) on sax and Nicholas Klingenberg (on bass) also make the music happen. Add to that the fact that trumpet player, band director and “H to H” co-writer/co-creator Paul Litteral plays with Craig Kupka’s Glendale Community College Big Band (which Craig directs), and you have a serious Glendale connection to one of L.A.’s most celebrated musical events of the season.