Pasadena Symphony and POPS' 2016 Concert Under the Stars Returns to City Hall Tonight

Stars of stage and screen will illuminate the night sky when the Pasadena Symphony and POPS presents its annual free Music Under the Stars concert tonight, May 14 at Pasadena City Hall's Centennial Square.

Presented with sponsorship support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the 2016 Music Under the Stars concert will celebrate iconic music from the Great American Songbook, Broadway and beyond. Highlights include hits from West Side Story, Anything Goes and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, as well as sentimental favorites like "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "When You Wish Upon a Star".

Under the baton of Tony Award-nominated, Resident POPS Conductor Larry Blank, the orchestra will welcome three guest vocalists and the JPL Chorus to the stage. No one is better poised to honor the legend of Webber's wildly popular scores than Broadway veterans Norman Large and Dale Kristien, who have both performed principal roles in Phantom of the Opera, with Kristien in the role of Christine Daae for a record breaking 4½ years including opposite the original Phantom, Michael Crawford. The pairs rendition of Phantom's "All I Ask of You" is sure to leave the audience breathless. Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Neral opposite Leonard Nimoy on Star Trek, multiple Ovation-award nominee Norman Large has cemented himself as Broadway royalty for major roles in LES MISERABLES, Sweeney Todd, Cats, My Fair Lady, La Cage Aux Folles, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, West Side Story and countless others. The effervescent Katherine Strohmaier, best known for her portrayal of the ingénue Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls will make a perfect counterpoint to Large on the playful "Anything You Can Do" and on other oldies but goodies including Cole Porter's "Let's Misbehave".

The family fun begins at 6:00pm with pre-concert activities, family-style picnicking and gourmet food trucks. Families can discover the wonder of creating their own music with the instruments of the orchestra at the instrument "petting zoo," where kids of all ages can toot flutes, blow trumpets, bow strings and bang on percussion instruments. Families can bring their own picnic along to enjoy at the site, or purchase a variety of offerings from a collection of gourmet food trucks.

This family-friendly event is presented with the support of Bank of America's arts program, which supports nonprofit arts and culture presenters at the local level and with leading world-class arts entities. Other programs include the Museums on Us program, which offers Bank of America customers free access to 150 of America's finest cultural institutions, and the Art in our Communities program through which the company shares its corporate collection with museums throughout the world.

Gates open at 6:00pm and the concert begins at 8:00pm. Admission to this event is free, and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic, blanket and low-back chairs. Rental chairs will also be available for purchase. For more information, visit or call 626.793.7172.


Bank of America's Music Under the Stars with the Pasadena Symphony and POPS

Special Guests: Larry Blank (conductor), Dale Kristien (vocalist), Norman Large (vocalist), Katherine Strohmaier (vocalist)

When: Saturday, May 14. Gates open for pre-concert festivities at 6:00 p.m.; concert begins at 8:00 p.m.

Where: Pasadena City Hall Centennial Square

Cost: Free, Chair Rentals $3

Parking: Plaza Las Fuentes Structure (Union Ave & Los Robles); School House Parking Facility (Green St. & Raymond Ave); Pasadena Center/Sheraton Parking Structure (Marengo & Cordova); Paseo Colorado Subterranean Garage; Paseo Colorado Marengo Avenue Parking Structure; Paseo Colorado Los Robles Parking Structure; Arroyo Seco Park Parking (Raymond Ave or Arroyo Blvd), and Marriott Courtyard Hotel Parking (enter on Raymond).


Larry Blank
Resident Pops Conductor, Larry Blank is one of the most prolific and sought after composers, conductors, and orchestrators in the entertainment business today. His work has been presented all over the world, including some of Broadway's most successful musicals, Carnegie Hall, and top television and film projects.

He was the Music Director/Conductor and/or vocal arranger for many shows on Broadway and in Los Angeles including They're Playing Our Song, Evita, Sugar Babies, La Cage Aux Folles, Phantom Of The Opera, Onward Victoria, Copperfield, Colette, A Chorus Line and A Little Night Music. He has been nominated three times for both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for his orchestrations in The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin's White Christmas and with Marc Shaiman for Catch Me If You Can. He received a Drama Desk Nomination for orchestrations for A Christmas Story. Larry contributed to the orchestrations for both the stage and film production of The Producers, the film Chicago, and is a regular conductor and arranger for BBC RADIO 2 Friday Night Is Music Night in the UK. Larry is also the Music Supervisor and Orchestrator (along with Mark Cumberland) for the Olivier Awards in London.

Blank has worked with top talent from varied fields of the entertainment world, notably as personal conductor to Michael Crawford. He has also worked with Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Bernadette Peters, Kelsey Grammar, Christine Baranski, Roberta Flack, Pete Fountain, Peabo Bryson, Sally Kellerman, Nancy Dussault, Marc Shaiman, Jerry Herman, Ann- Margaret, Davis Gaines, Bette Midler, George Benson, Placido Domingo, Randy Newman, Trisha Yearwood, Tom Scott, Quincy Jones, Michael Bolton, John Raitt and Diana Rigg.

Blank's background includes orchestrating and arranging songs for South Park and was Music Supervisor and Orchestrator for Jerry Herman's movie, Mrs. Santa Claus starring Angela Lansbury and Charles Durning. Some of the films he lent his talent to include The Kid, Kiss The Girls, The American President, Forget Paris, City Slickers II, The Net, That¹s Entertainment III, North, I¹d Do Anything, and Stuart Saves His Family. Blank's music can be heard on the animated feature films, Cats Don't Dance and All Dogs Go To Heaven as well as the 101 Dalmations Christmas Special.

Mr. Blank's television work includes orchestrating and composing music for several of the Grammy Awards and Academy Award shows as well as numerous television movies and shows. Mr. Blank has guest conducted most of the orchestras throughout the world, including The San Francisco Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Palm Beach Pops, Auckland Symphony, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Symphony, New Orleans Symphony and Toronto

Dale Kristien
Dale Kristien is well known for her record-breaking four-and-one-half years in the role of 'Christine Daae' in The Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Kristien first played Christine opposite the original Phantom, Michael Crawford, on Broadway and they both premiered the Andrew Lloyd Webber show in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre. She subsequently continued in the role until the show closed. Altogether, Ms. Kristien was featured in more than 1,700 performances - the longest running Christine in captivity and the only actress allowed to play the role for all eight shows per week, anywhere in the world.

Prior to her monumental achievements in Phantom, Ms. Kristien starred on Broadway with Donald O'Connor in the Houston Grand Opera production of Show Boat. She also appeared on Broadway with Richard Burton and later with Richard Harris in Camelot.

Ms. Kristien has played in regional and local theater productions of such classics as Carousel, The Pirates of Penzance, Showboat, The King & I, The Desert Song, Kismet, The Sound of Music, Camelot, and My Fair Lady. Most recently Dale appeared as Margaret Cavendish in the Musical Theatre West production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Ms. Kristien's television credits include a two-year stint on Days of Our Lives as well as numerous guest appearances on series and specials including Knot's Landing and Motown's 30th Anniversary Special with then-Phantom Robert Guillaume.

Ms. Kristien continues to offer her time and talents for various charitable causes, including appearances in all 14 of the annual S.T.A.G.E. benefits for AIDS projects. Besides working in the theater, Ms. Kristien can be found performing in concert throughout the year. When not performing solo, Dale has appeared with Michael Crawford, Bill Hutton, Richard Carpenter, Robert Guillaume, and others. Dale and Michael Crawford have performed for former President George Bush and have appeared on a Bob Hope television special. They continue to work together in concerts around the world. They can be seen - and heard - together on the PBS special Michael Crawford in Concert.

Dale's first solo album, The Beauty of Broadway, has been released and is available on Prima Records.

Norman Large
Norman Large's extremely varied career bridges Broadway, film, television, concert, opera, recording, and voiceover. He has been nominated for ten "Best Actor" Ovation Awards in Los Angeles, two of which for his renditions of Sweeney Todd. On Broadway Norman played the leading role of Count Fosco in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman In White. He originated the role of the Bishop of Digne in the original Broadway production of LES MISERABLES, going on to star as Thenardier and ultimately as Inspector Javert. He also played leading roles on Broadway in A Doll's Life, and Silverlake. Norman has starred in major productions of The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, My Fair Lady (Arizoni Award), Sweeney Todd (Ovation Award nomination), La Cage Aux Folles (Ovation nomination), Phantom (Ovation nomination), H.M.S. Pinafore (Republic Award), Man of La Mancha, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The King & I, Brigadoon, The Secret Garden, Sunday in the Park with George, Chess, and many others.

A recognizable face from a myriad of TV and film roles, Norman is probably best known for the character of Neral, the ruler of the Romulan Empire, opposite Leonard Nimoy on Star Trek; the Next Generation. He has, in fact, played more different guest starring roles than anyone in the history of Star Trek. Among his other TV credits are a recurring roles on Veronica Mars and NYPD Blue and guest starring roles on JAG, Seinfeld, Nash Bridges, LA Law, Caroline in the City, Deep Space Nine, Quantum Leap, and Civil Wars along with numerous soaps and Movies of the Week. On film, Norman was featured in Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and in Repossessed with Leslie Nielson. He has been a principal artist with the New York City Opera and has sung with symphony orchestras nationwide under the batons of such noted conductors as Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa.

For Disney he has lent his talents to the animated worlds of Enchanted, Polar Express, Sponge Bob Squarepants the Movie, The Little Mermaid II, Lady and the Tramp II, Hunchback II, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Mickey's Christmas, as well as Lion King 1 ó and Teacher's Pet supplementing Nathan Lane's voice. In addition to original cast albums, Norman can be heard on Legato Classic's Lakme, recorded live at Carnegie Hall, and Christmas Center Stage.

Katherine Strohmaier
Katherine is an actor and musician based in Seattle. She has appeared with the Seattle Symphony in Pops concerts highlighting the music of the Mad Men era with conductor Steven Reineke, and a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch with conductor Larry Blank. She also joined Maestro Blank at the Opéra de Rennes for a reimagining of Cole Porter's La Revue des Ambassadeurs, and periodically appears in concert with acclaimed pianist Peter Nero.

Her theatrical credits include performances at many esteemed regional theatres including Seattle's 5th Avenue theatre, where she has appeared in Singin' in the Rain and has portrayed the role of Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls.

Katherine is also an adjunct professor and voice instructor in the theatre department
at Cornish College of the Arts.

Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood's most talented, sought after musicians. With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.

The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Internationally recognized, Grammy-nominated conductor, David Lockington, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association's Music Director, with performance-practice specialist Nicholas McGegan serving as Principal Guest Conductor. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook," Michael Feinstein, is the Principal Pops Conductor, who succeeded Marvin Hamlisch in the newly created Marvin Hamlisch Chair.

A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) comprised of five performing ensembles, with over 250 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region. The PYSO Symphony often performs on the popular television show GLEE.

The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.

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