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REVIEW: 'Simon & Garfunkel Story' cements the iconic duo’s legacy

By Mike Diez Published Mar 04, 2024 2:23 pm Updated Mar 15, 2024 10:07 pm

From up above the bleachers, the duo singing onstage could have fooled the audience into believing that they were indeed Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in their younger years—they even dressed and posed like the legendary duo.

The harmonies blended perfectly, and whenever I close my eyes, I can picture Simon and Garfunkel themselves singing at this well-attended performance at the Solaire Theater.

Yet I know for a fact that Simon & Garfunkel are now retired, having played their last performance in 2010. Irreconcilable differences would prevent them from playing together ever again.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story is a stage production that features a hybrid of theater and concert. Two actors, along with a full backing band, play songs from the legendary duos catalog, with a sprinkling of stories about Simon & Garfunkel and their music.


After a bit of delay, a montage of events that defined America in the 1960s is shown on a screen in the background, segueing into actors James Pattison and Charles Blyth, who play Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel respectively, singing The Sounds of Silence. The audience, mostly baby boomers and Gen Xers, erupted into applause, lively singing along.

The actors then narrate the story of how their characters met, how before they became Simon & Garfunkel they were Tom & Jerry. They also recount how their album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. did not meet expectations. Simon & Garfunkel then went their separate ways until a track from their debut album, originally an acoustic song now overdubbed with electric guitars, bass guitar, and drums, found new life after a radio station started playing it on-air. That song was The Sounds of Silence.

The performance would include songs from the duos handful of albums, played chronologically. It’s too bad that deep cuts such as Leaves That Are Green, Patterns, Punky’s Dilemma, and Baby Driver were received less enthusiastically. Even standout songs like The Only Living Boy in New York and For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her did not resonate as much with the audience as familiar hits like Bridge Over Troubled Water and the Pinoy favorite The Boxer.

The stories themselves arent anything new to fans of Simon & Garfunkel. We arent given stories of their eventual fallout, just a perfunctory acknowledgment of the rift that would cause them to break up and pursue solo careers.

In all, the note-perfect rendition of the songs is well worth the price of admission. The backing band can be seen performing Simon & Garfunkel songs with reverence, displaying a chemistry that no longer exists in the act they are playing. Although lacking Simon’s signature nasal vocals, Pattison’s guitar performance nails the plucking style of the man hes supposed to portray. Blyth, however, is an on-point facsimile of Art Garfunkels angelic voice. He even sports Garfunkel’s signature afro.

Its unfortunate that the show only ran for one night in Manila. A few more dates would have brought in more devotees of one of the most influential and successful acts in the history of music.

If the producers intended to whet our appetites for more, then they’ve accomplished their mission.