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Review: COLUMBUS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Presents a LIVE Socially Distant Concert for Valentine's Day

BWW Review: COLUMBUS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA's Socially Distant Valentine's Day Concert

Review: COLUMBUS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Presents a LIVE Socially Distant Concert for Valentine's Day

Love was in the air as Columbus was finally reunited for the first time with a live (albeit socially-distant-mask-wearing) symphony orchestra performance featuring an intimate Valentine's Day concert with celebrated vocalists Jessica Hendy and Scott Coulter, accompanist John Boswell, and conductor Stuart Chafetz.

With seating limited to only 300 out of the normal 2,695 capacity, mask requirements in full force, plexiglass between the reduced ensemble of 22 musicians, hand sanitizers scattered throughout, and all concessions closed, not a single person in the scarce audience cared about anything other than the fact that they were attending a real, live, in-person event. And neither did the performers. No Zoom concerts, no computer live-streams, no televised or audio recordings. And the best part about being socially distant was that each audience member had an unobstructed view of the stage.

Upon arrival, all attendees were given the VIP Sweetheart Experience that included a goodie bag filled with chocolates, champagne to enjoy later or during the performance, and of course a "Columbus Symphony" mask. Concertgoers also received a commemorative photo with their loved one and a red rose to celebrate the special occasion.

Directed by Principal Pops Conductor Stuart Chafetz, the "Evening of Romance" made up for lost time by featuring a melange of popular music such as "Natural Woman," "Nobody Does It Better," and "I Will Always Love You," along with Broadway selections from PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, HAIR, and THE LION KING, as well as teasers of classical favorites by Elgar and Puccini.

With an abundance of awards and prestigious performances including five MAC awards, five Bistro Awards and two Nightlife Awards (to name a few), Scott Coulter graced the audience with his velvety and lustrous voice. Singing favorite hits such as "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You," "Circle of Life," and a surprisingly male-led "I Will Always Love You," Coulter interprets music like an exquisite Monet painting.

Jessica Hendy, who is the only person to have the trifecta of performing in the original Broadway production of CATS, the National Tour, and the revival, gave a stunning performance alongside her counterpart. Her powerful voice soared, especially in Carole King's "Natural Woman."

Renowned pianist John Boswell with impressive stage credits of his own, sang a breathtakingly beautiful "Shallow" by Gaga that sent chills up your spine.

To be transported by live music is truly a magical gift. Although the audience was thin, the musicians were reduced in size, and mask wearing mandates were in full effect, there was certainly no lack of pure passion and joy which radiated throughout the theatre and permeated everyone's hearts.

For more information about the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, or to see upcoming events, visit: www.columbussymphony.com.

Regional Awards


From This Author - Christina Mancuso

Christina Mancuso, a mother of 3, has traveled to well over 70 cities on various Broadway National Tours.  She is now residing in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio after spending a year in NYC to... (read more about this author)


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