George Takei Returns to Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for Sci-Fi Spectacular This February

Hosted by George Takei and led by Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) presents Sci-Fi Spectacular!, Thursday, February 20 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, and Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22 at 8p.m. and Sunday, February 23 at 3p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

George Takei, best known for his role as Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series Star Trek, has become a social media phenomenon in recent years, with nearly 5.7 million Facebook "likes" and more than 900,000 followers on Twitter. Last performed for Baltimore audiences in 2008, the Sci-Fi Spectacular! features musical selections from science fiction's best films and television programs, including Star Wars, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Star Trek.

George Takei, narrator and host
Actor, author, social media mega-power and social justice activist. George Takei has risen from internment camp inmate to one of the most recognizable voices in America, calling for equal rights and social change.

Born George Hosato Takei in April 1937, George was born in Los Angeles and lived the first few years of his life there. During World War II, however, George and his family were imprisoned in an internment camp named Rohwer in the swamps of southeast Arkansas, then later were relocated to a camp in the desolate, harsh region of Northern California called Tule Lake. George moved back to L.A. after the war, graduating from Los Angeles High School in 1956. He earned a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley in 1960 and an M.A. in 1964.

George began his acting career in the late 1950s, but his breakthrough role came in 1965 as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek. George starred in three seasons of Star Trek and, beginning in 1979, reprised his iconic role in six Star Trek movies.

In the 2000s, George increasingly became a symbol for and an outspoken advocate of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As an openly gay man, he became a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's "Coming Out" project and in 2006, embarked upon a nationwide speaking tour called Equality Trek, where he talked about his life, his relationship with his now-husband Brad Takei and encouraging others to share their own personal stories. As the unofficial "King of Facebook," George now has nearly 5.7 million Facebook "likes" (and more than 900,000 Twitter followers), and uses his reach to continue to call for equal rights for the LGBT community, among other social justice issues.

Educating the public about the Japanese American internment during World War II is also a passion for George. In 2012, at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, he starred in the musical Allegiance, a ground-breaking musical about the Japanese American internment. George calls Allegiance his legacy project and the musical is bound for Broadway in 2014.

Jack Everly, conductor
Jack Everly is the principal pops conductor of the Baltimore and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), and the music director of the National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth on PBS. He has been on stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and appears regularly with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center. His frequent guest conducting engagements include the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Oklahoma City and this season with The Philadelphia Orchestra at The Mann Center.

Everly is the music director of Yuletide Celebration, now a 26-year tradition. These theatrical symphonic holiday concerts are presented annually in December in Indianapolis and are seen by more than 40,000 concert-goers. He led the ISO in its first Pops recording, Yuletide Celebration, Volume One, that included three of his own arrangements.




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