American Classics Announces 2016-2017 Season

For their 2016-2017 season, American Classics takes a novel approach, drawing all three programs on great literature. They open with Shakespeare in Song, in honor of the 400th anniversary of his death, with songs from The Boys From Syracuse (Rodgers & Hart, based on The Comedy of Errors), Kiss Me Kate (Cole Porter, based on The Taming of the Shrew), West Side Story (Bernstein and Sondheim, based on Romeo and Juliet), The Lion King (Tim Rice and Sir Elton John, based on Hamlet), and some unusual songs from drawn from Shakespeare. Caroline Musica, Cynthia Mork, Eric Bronner make up the quartet of singers, with Bradford Conner presiding at the keyboard.

Performances are Friday, November 4 at 7:30 at the Follen Community Church, Lexington, and Sunday, November 6 at 3:00 at the Pickman Concert Hall of the Longy School of Music.Tickets are $25; $20 students and seniors. For tickets and information visit, www.amclass.org or call 617-254-1125. Venues are wheelchair accessible.

In February they present A Novel Idea with songs from Broadway shows and Hollywood films based on classic novels, shorts stories, and other books. Featured will be songs from Show Boat, The King & I (Anna and the King of Siam), Pal Joey (from the short stories by John O'Hara), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Roberta (Gowns By Roberta), and Gypsy (Gypsy: A Memoir). The Friday, February 3 performance is at 7:30 at Follen Church in Lexington. Sunday is a special dinner theater performance at Boston's celebrated Hampshire House, starting with dinner at 6:00. Tickets are $77; dinner includes tax and gratuity. For this show only are available from www.hampshirehouse.com/special-events.

By the Book on April 28 and 30 looks at lighter literature with songs from Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, various settings based on Alice in Wonderland, and more. Friday's performance is at Follen Church in Lexington at 7:30, and Sunday is back at the Pickman Concert Hall of the Longy School of Music at 3:00. Tickets are $25; $20 students and seniors. For tickets and information visit, www.amclass.org or call 617-254-1125. Venues are wheelchair accessible

American Classics is the Boston area's only performing organization dedicated solely to American music. Since their first season in1995, they have presented critically acclaimed concerts of vocal and instrumental music. Two American Classics specialties are the music of Irving Berlin and concert performances of rarely-given musicals, including first revivals of Berlin's first two shows (Watch Your Step from 1914 and Stop! Look! Listen! from 1915) and the first reconstruction and revival of the classic Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz revue The Band Wagon (1931) in 2001. Little-known musicals by George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart have also been featured. The group has also commissioned new works from area composers. In 2012 American Classics saluted Fenway Park's one-hundredth season and later sang the National Anthem at for the season's second game. Critics have called American Classics concerts "pure delight" (Boston Phoenix) and hailed them as "people you want to hear" (Boston Globe).

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