MR. MUSIC BOX
Seven rows of seven buttons upon the front side of an attractively painted box draw the guests’ attention to various song titles and raise the enticing question as to what might happen if a button were to be pushed. The answer comes quickly as two doors swing open to reveal a tenor in white tie and tails, who sings the selected song a cappella: "I'm singing in the rain." Afterwards, just as abruptly as the box opened, its doors close once again. The guests laugh and clap, then press forward to choose the next title.
Between George Frederick Takis and his listeners there begins a lively interchange whose rhythm is impelled onward by the opening and closing of the doors. One compelling aspect lies in the wild succession of titles: after rock-’n’-roll a tender love song, "Wie mein Ahnl zwanzig Jahr" between "Life is a Cabaret” and “Santa Lucia.” Each individual mood is savored, then yields to the next melody in a zigzag of pushed buttons. The jollity of the guests grows from song to song. The jukebox becomes the focus for a communal feeling that, with well-known titles like "Yesterday” or "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" often leads to spontaneous group singing.
The entertainer appears and disappears like a jack-in-the-box. The buttons and doors awaken a playful urge in the adults to repeat this simple procedure again and again. Yet the person inside the tiny stage is not a mere toy but rather a classically trained singer performing the desired songs with a warm, lyrical tenor voice. He enters into a momentary but profound relationship to each individual whose favorite song he presents. The peculiar charm of this human jukebox lies in an admixture of friendly humor and musical talent.