5th Dimension brings harmony to Pier Six

August 21, 1991|By Nestor Aparicio | Nestor Aparicio,Evening Sun Staff qnB

When Donald Trump went to members of the 5th Dimension last fall with hopes of putting together a reunion show for New Year's Eve at his Trump Castle in Atlantic City, there was some natural apprehension among the group's members.

"We didn't know if it was what we wanted," said Florence LaRue, one of the group's founding members. "But we finally got together and said, 'Why not? It might be a lot of fun.' "

Eight months later the quintet is on tour with the same show that brought down the house on New Year's Eve.

"Our fans and friends had been asking us all the time if we were ever going to get back together, but we didn't plan on anything like this," LaRue said of the group's summer tour. "But when we got together and rehearsed -- eight hours a day for about three weeks back in December -- we realized we had something pretty special.

"With the old songs, the harmonies came back as if we'd never been apart," she said.

All the original members -- Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr., Lamonte McLemore, Ron Townson and LaRue -- will be together tonight at Pier Six Pavilion performing classics such as "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," 'One Less Bell to Answer" and "This Is Your Life." (The Spinners will also perform.)

"We do some songs other than the old ones," LaRue said. "That was one thing we wanted to avoid -- making our show an oldies show. Marilyn does some gospel numbers from her album, and I do a comedy number."

The group split up 16 years ago when the husband-wife team of Davis Jr. and McCoo left to pursue solo careers and recorded their big hit "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)." It wasn't due to lack of harmony, though, LaRue said.

"When they left we were experiencing a real lull in our careers," she said. "We had stopped growing musically and personally, and things were just slow. Actually, looking back, I think it was good to split. Now that we're back together, it makes our music and our friendship that much more special."

There are no plans for an album -- the group doesn't have a record contract and no one is writing music -- but LaRue said that hasn't been ruled out.

"We'll finish this tour and see where we are," she said. "We're just happy to be out performing music that people love to hear."

Tickets for tonight's 8 p.m. performance are still available ($22.50 for reserved seats, $17.50 for lawn seats). For more information call Telecharge at 625-1400.

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