Half of the talented quartet are competing in the 30th season of the Emmy-winning show that has teams performing challenges around the world in pursuit of the $1 million first prize.
Chris Marchant (2nd violin) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola) participated in the series filmed earlier this year in the hopes that the exposure will lead to more attention for Well-Strung.
“I’m not allowed to talk about pretty much anything in regards to what happens on the show,”
Marchant told Vanguard during a recent telephone interview along with fellow Well-Strung member Edmund Bagnell (1st violin). The fourth member of the group is cello player Daniel Shevlin.
“We did have to take a month-long hiatus from touring to participate in the show,” Marchant said. “One of the big reasons we decided to do it was so that the band could get a different kind of media attention. We originally started doing concerts in Provincetown and our fan base was largely gay. Then the more we toured, the wider our demographics got.”
The quartet, conceived in 2012 by Marchant and producer Mark Cortale, produces their unique blend of vocals and strings by fusing classical music with modern pop music.
All members of the quartet are openly gay and share an apartment in New York City…as friends.
“We really are close like brothers,” Marchant said. “We do not have to fake that chemistry on stage.”
The group tours extensively in the U.S. and internationally and has headlined at such venues as New York’s Feinstein's/54 Below, House of Blues in New Orleans, and the Leicester Square Theatre in London.
They have also been invited to perform at a gala for former U.S. President Barack Obama and at the Vatican in Rome. Hillary Clinton requested a special performance by the group as a result of their viral music video Chelsea’s Mom.
In addition, Well-Strung has performed on the NBC’s The Today Show and live onstage with Tony Award winners Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris, and Audra McDonald, among others.
For the group, there is something special about returning to the Renberg stage, where such stars as Liza Minelli, Billy Porter, Carol Channing, Margaret Cho, Jenifer Lewis, Lily Tomlin, Leslie Jordan, Coco Peru and Jane Fonda have appeared.
“We are just honored to be asked back,” Marchant said. “Every time we walk through the lobby, we make note of all the posters of all of shows that have been there in the past.”
The group most recently performed at the Renberg in January 2017 and are currently working in their third studio album with the hopes of having it released by late spring. They promise plenty of news material the Renberg audience has not seen before.
“You’ll be getting our usual blend of pop and classical but it’s a different show,” Bagnell said. “We are looking forward to the show because it is a fantastic community there in Los Angeles. You get a sense of who your audience is and it’s a lovely group that comes out to see us.”
Added Marchant: “My favorite thing is when someone is seeing us for the first time and they come away with a greater appreciation for classic and pop music. It makes them see something in a new way.”
The Renberg Theatre is located inside the Center’s The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Well-Strung performs on Sunday, January 21 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling (323) 860-7300 or at lalgbtcenter.org/theatre