Duo to perform Simon and Garfunkel at Cabaret at The Commons April 19

The next Cabaret at The Commons concert, scheduled to feature British novelty act the Puppini Sisters, will instead highlight the music of Simon and Garfunkel’s classic 1981 reunion concert.

The show is at 7:30 p.m. April 19 at The Commons.

The Puppini Sisters have faced visa problems that prevent them from being in Columbus, according to organizers with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. In their place will be vocalist and piano player Johnny Rodgers, who appeared in his own local cabaret Jan. 12, with longtime music friend Lee Lessack, recreating the 21-song set list of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1981 “Live in Central Park” concert.

That show attracted more than 500,000 people — making it the seventh largest concert crowd of all time — and spawned an album, a documentary and later a nationwide tour.

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Rodgers and Lessack’s tour of the recreation has sold out venues for more than a year, according to online sites.

Lessack was careful before their recreation began to tell fans that he and Rodgers are not consciously trying to imitate Simon and Garfunkel because that duo’s sound is so unique.

“So we do it in our voices,” he said. “(But) we don’t change a huge amount of the harmonies.”

On at least a couple of numbers, the vocal blend is startlingly close to the original tune, according to video clips. That’s especially true on “Sound of Silence” and “Scarborough Fair.” Rodgers has joked that he and Lessack give listeners a little more than the original act.

“You get all the songs — without the rain (that day),” Rodgers said on the show “My Long Island TV.”

If you go

The upcoming Cabaret at The Commons concert will feature Johnny Rodgers and Lee Lessack performing the music of Simon and Garfunkel.

When/where: 7:30 p.m. April 19 at The Commons, 300 Washington St.

Tickets: $40. Order by calling 812-376-2638, or visit thecip.org.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.