Rubix Kube "Back to the 80's" tribute returns
Singer Cherie Martorana of Rubix Kube, wearing 80's garb during the band's appearance at Penn's Peak last year, returns to The Peak with the Kube's Back to the 80's tribute concert Friday night. JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS
One never knows who might show up at a Rubix Kube show.
One night, it's morning television host Kelly Ripa, who gave the New York City-based 1980's tribute band a plug on her show, Live with Regis and Kelly.
Then, during two sold out shows at New York's Canal Room, former 80's teen icons Tiffany and Debbie Gibson joined Rubix Kube on stage, appearing together for the first time ever.
That's the kind of buzz circulating around Rubix Kube, which is taking its high energy Back to the 80's show back to Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe for a return engagement Friday night. Show time is 8 p.m.
The Peak is getting in the 80's spirit for the show, as the first 100 will receive free glow necklaces. There will also be an 80's dress contest, with five contestants joining the band on stage, as well as an 80's Happy Hour from 7-9 p.m. with drink specials.
"It's been crazy since we saw you guys last," said Rubix Kube lead singer Cherie Martorana, in a phone interview from Brooklyn. "We've had sold out show after sold out show in New York, and we've had a lot of special guests and celebrities show up.
"Kelly Ripa came to one of of shows and she loved it. She and her husband came up to us afterward and told us they had a good time. Then last Monday on her show, she started talking about us.
"When we had Debbie Gibson and Tiffany together on stage together at the same time, that was a historic moment. We also got to go to the red carpet premiere of their cable movie ("Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" on the SyFy Network)."
Colin Hay, lead singer of Australian 80's hit makers Men At Work, has joined Rubix Kube on stage, as has Taylor Dayne. Martorana also name-dropped rappers Tone Loc, Rob Base and members of the Sugar Hill Gang and mentioned that Katie Couric and the Bush twins have caught Rubix Kube shows.
"I'm pleasantly surprised," she said of all the attention around the band. "Every week you see lines down the street to get in.
"It's also not surprising to me in, because I know how special this is and how much hard work we put into it."
Martorana, who is also a member of the blues and rock band Little Death NYC that includes MOBY on bass (she and fellow back-up singer Jamie Rae are known as the Death Threats), is constantly in motion during a Rubix Kube show, changing outfits up to eight times, such as donning a wedding dress for Madonna's "Like a Virgin" or a cheerleader outfit for Toni Basil's "Mickey."
Fellow lead singer Scott Lovelady does the same, such as slipping into Michael Jackson garb, although Martorana notes that she still manages to sing back-up on the songs while changing outfits offstage.
"I tell Scott he has it easy because he doesn't have to sing while changing," she said with a laugh.
Rubix Kube strives to cover all the stylistic bases of the decade.
"We like to have a good mix," Martorana stressed. "We do new wave, pop and rock. Every corner of the 80's is covered. It's not just 80's dance or hair metal. We're total perfectionists with the music."
The band is even tighter than it was at its previous appearance at The Peak. "Last year, our keyboard player's first gig ever with us was at Penn's Peak, and he's been with us since," noted Martorana. "He (Sky) is a musical genius, and keyboards are a big part of 80's songs."
She also related that bassist David Z. just finished another tour with Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
While Rubix Kube will feature certain staples in most shows, such as Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," the setlist can vary and the band is continuing to evolve its stage presentation.
"We've added a new part of the show called the Epic Lighter Ballad," mentioned Martorana. "We usually play fast paced songs, but there were some awesome slow songs in the 80's, so every show we try to work one of them in. The crowd doesn't wave lighters anymore, it's more like cellphones with light applications," she joked.
Rubix Kube was recently filmed by MTV, and the band is about to go into the studio and record their versions of 80's hit covers. The 80's tribute has taken on a life of its own, but it remains a labor of love for the group.
"We really love what we do, and we're really excited about coming back to Penn's Peak this week," Martorana concluded.
Rubix Kube will perform at Penn's Peak on Friday, Feb. 4. Doors open at 6 p.m. with showtime at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance for general admission seating and $20 the day of the show. Tickets are available online at www.ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster outlets, including Boscov's and Gallery of Sound, at the Penn's Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant. Call (866) 605-PEAK for more information.