After receiving over a dozen hit albums and 14 gold records, six platinum records and six Grammy Awards, the 5th Dimension continues to perform around the globe, as delighted audiences at the Sellersville Theater will discover for themselves on Oct. 14.
The group will perform some of their classic hits, including “Up, Up and Away,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In” and many others.
“We continue to sing our classic hits because that’s what audiences want to hear, those are the songs they remember us by,” says Florence LaRue, the one remaining member of the original 5th Dimensions. Today, she will be joined on the stage by members Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker, Patrice Morris and Floyd Smith.
“We work hard to remain true to the sound of the 5th Dimension’s original recordings,” LaRue points out. “We also try to put some new things into the act just to keep it fresh for us, but for the most part, audiences will hear the music they came to hear.”
LaRue, who moved to California after graduation from Abington High School, earned an associate’s degree in music from Los Angeles City College and later received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from California State University.
“Growing up I always had two dreams: One to become a performer, and the other to become a teacher,” LaRue says. “My mother urged me to get my teaching degree — just in case — but I always hated that expression. I think teaching is a noble profession. It’s a very special career and should not be entered into lightly.”
But still yearning for a career in the movies, LaRue entered a number of beauty contests while attending college. She won several and was soon approached by Lamonte McLemore and Marilyn McCoo to join their recently formed group The 5th Dimension.
“Truthfully,” she says, “I never thought of myself as a singer, but if they thought I could sing, I guess I could sing. And so I joined the group. In the beginning, I thought we’d be successful or I wouldn’t have agreed to become part of them. But I never thought we’d have the kind of success that we had, success that has lasted this long.”
But today, she continues, “as I sit back and reflect on all the wonderful thing we did, such as singing in the White House and traveling all around the world, I am so proud of the music we produced.”
As a solo performer, LaRue has performed in the national tour of Broadway’s Tony Award winning musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and starred in the Toronto and Calvary production of “Mo’ Magic.”
LaRue says while she enjoys performing as one of the 5th Dimension, she also enjoys her solo career. “I enjoy the contact and immediate satisfaction of performing in front of a live audience. There’s something about the theater that is entirely different from doing concerts. So for the future, I look forward to perhaps starring in another play. I also have my one-woman show, ‘Just As I Am,’ which I wrote and have performed several times. I’d like to do it more often and maybe be on the big screen one day.”
After 47 years with the 5th Dimension, LaRue says she has no plans to retire. “I was told years ago to leave the group and do my own thing. But back then, honestly, I was afraid to go out on my own. And today, I just enjoy singing with the group too much to think about leaving them. I enjoy the harmony and it’s been a wonderful experience for me and for the audience.”
For times and ticket information, call (215) 257-5808.