BWW Interviews: Holiday Concerts with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops

How do a conductor’s arms deal with such a heavy schedule upon the podium?  “They get pretty sore and I take a lot of ibuprofen,” the maestro explains with a hearty laugh.  “Actually, when you’re in the middle of doing them, it doesn’t hurt so much.  It hurts about a week later when you stop conducting that the muscles seize back up.”

The Pops are also gearing up for their biennial Florida tour in the Southeast.  “It includes dates in Virginia, North and South Carolina, as well as our normal dates in Florida.  That takes place at the end of February and the beginning of March.  Then we’ll be back to the 2012 spring season in Boston. Here’s a bit of a scoop for Broadway World, “ Lockhart says, “because I don’t think it’s been released yet:  our season will include a guest appearance by Matthew Morrison—currently best known as the star of television’s GLEE, but with significant Broadway chops.  He’s been with us before.  He was in our Sondheim tribute a few years ago.  Also, Megan Hilty, the star of television’s SMASH and is on the fast track to stardom, will be joining us.  We’re also doing a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch for obvious reasons.” The Hamlisch tribute will feature Donna McKechnie, who starred in the original cast of the composer’s A Chorus Line, and Jodi Benson of The Little Mermaid fame.

Lovers of Christmas music have a great treat to look forward during the next holiday season.  The Boston Pops are in the process of recording another holiday album; their third under Lockhart’s baton.  “It’s being recorded live, so what we did was stretch the repertoire we wanted over two seasons, that way0 we didn’t have to define the program by what we needed to record.  This is the second year of recording it and it will be released in time for Christmas 2013.”  In concerts during the past few seasons, the Pops have been performing a remarkable arrangement of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which features references to dozens of other recognizable tunes like “Surrey With a Fringe On Top,” “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “SwanLake” and numerous other melodies.  It brings down the house every time it’s performed live.  Is there any chance that this will be included in the new recording?  “I think there’s a pretty good chance it will be,” Lockhart comments with a laugh.

There’s no doubt that the upcoming Christmas CD will be an excellent addition to many collections, but there’s no way to duplicate the thrill of attending a live concert by the Boston Pops.  There’s a certain festivity that takes place whether the orchestra is playing on tour or in Symphony Hall. Click the link  and book your tickets now!

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Joe Panarello is one of those people who have most certainly been born with theater in their blood. As an actor, Joe has played such varied roles as Harry Roat in Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark, Jimmy Smith in No, No Nanette and Lazer Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof a vehicle he's performed in several times and designed the sets for on one occasion. He's also directed productions of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park and Henrich Ibsen's Peer Gynt. Joe is a respected author and although his latest work, The Authoritative History of Corduroy won't be published until this summer, it is already being translated into several different languages by a group of polyglot nuns in Tormento, Italy.. The proceeds from their labors will go to the restoration of the nearby Cathedral of Gorgonzola.

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