California Pops Welcomes the New Year With Broadway Meets Hollywood
California Pops Orchestra, the country's only all-request pops orchestra, greets the New Year with songs spanning the Great White Way and the Silver Screen in "Broadway Meets Hollywood" at Cupertino's Flint Center. Packed full of songs from Tony and Oscar Award winners, "Broadway Meets Hollywood" performs one time only on Sunday, January 28, 2018, at 3 p.m. For tickets ($20-$55, standard ticket service fees apply), the public can visit www.ticketmaster.com or call (650) 856-8432.
"Many of our audience requests for music come from stage musicals and movies," says conductor Kim Venaas. "This is music that is often designed to evoke great emotion - excitement in action scenes, tenderness in quiet moments, the soaring your heart does when you first experience love. The music itself is beautiful, moving, inspiring; but so many of our audience members love these songs because these are the songs they heard when they went on their first date with their spouse, or took their children to the theatre for the first time, or when a play or film opened up a new way of thinking or believing for them. These pieces are the scores for musicals or the soundtracks to movies, but in a very real way, these are also the soundtracks to our lives, and it's very powerful to hear those songs played live with a full orchestra and expressive singers."
From 1920s flappers to futuristic intergalactic struggles, fairy-tale castles to sultry Southern society, Broadway Meets Hollywood presents favorite songs from classic films and stage musicals such as Chicago, Show Boat, Star Wars, Disney musical favorites, and more. Tony and Oscar Award Winners abound in this one-time concert, including music from the recent movie hit "La La Land" (composer Justin Hurvitz), an Academy Award winning film score suite; and Marvin Hamlisch's vocal medley of "Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered" and "Spring is Here." Audiences will recognize favorites from Casablanca, Beauty & the Beast, A Chorus Line, and The Witches of Eastwick, plus tunes from Gershwin, Mancini and more.
A special treat will be singers Carly Honfi and Matthew Hall performing the moving duet "Come What May," the show-stopping number that was performed in the 2001 film "Moulin Rouge" by Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor. Honfi first performed with California Pops Orchestra in 2013, and has been a favorite of Pops audiences since then. She's also been seen locally with South Bay Musical Theatre in "Jerry's Girls" and as the lead character of Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl," as well as singing in their annual musical showcase, Broadway by the Decade, for the past several years. Hall, who first performed with the Pops for their Christmas show in 2017, was seen as Jinx in "Forever Plaid" with South Bay Musical Theatre as well as in "The Drowsy Chaperone" with Sunnyvale Community Players. Relatively new to singing performance, Hall will also be seen in February at this year's Broadway by the Decade (1920's).
Music in entertainment has been around since the beginning, when Greek choruses sang their lines to a rapt amphitheater audience and minstrels roamed the Middle Ages telling stories through song. But the Modern Stage musical, may have had its roots in the 1700s with ballad operas, pantomimes, operettas, and burlettas, mixing spoken with sung lines. Although beginning in Europe, American musicals took the form of operetta but integrated the comedy, wit, and spectacle of vaudeville and burlesque. The first truly modern musical was likely "The Black Crook" (1866), a live performance in which original music helped to tell the story. Through the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s, musicals gained popularity, expanding from comic tales to showstopping revues to the groundbreaking "Show Boat" (1927).
Hollywood, meanwhile, was pairing silent films with live piano or organ performances - often, standard songs for "action," "comedy," or "romance" which were played according to scene and didn't vary much from film to film. With "The Jazz Singer" - ironically, released the same year as "Show Boat" premiered - a new era of motion pictures with sound was introduced, and that film was quickly followed by a raft of musicals eager to capitalize on the new technology. From just two titles in 1928, Hollywood released no less than 65 movie musicals in 1929, including a film version of "Show Boat" and the classics "The Cocoanuts," "Gold Diggers of Broadway," and "Applause."
California Pops Orchestra has spent nearly three decades proving that orchestral performances by highly trained and talented musicians do not have to be stuffy affairs! The Pops includes many of the Bay Area's leading musicians with training from very distinguished conservatories including Oberlin, Julliard, and the Eastman School of Music. The Pops also draws from talented musicians who also happen to be scientists, educators, engineers, marketers, technology leaders, and other highly creative individuals. This diversity in background plus a single-minded purpose makes the Pops a delight to play with and a never-ending source of ideas, inspiration, and humor. California Pops Orchestra's musicians and featured guests bring fun, family-friendly shows to the live stage with selections from the full range of the popular music repertoire. Every one of the Pops performers loves the music of Broadway musicals, television, Hollywood movies, jazz, pop, comic novelties, and big band. This popular music is often scored for a unique set of instruments found in movie and recording studios but not in classical symphony orchestras: so concerts often include flugelhorns, a saxophone section, harmonicas, congas, whips, theramins, accordions, and other colorful instruments. For more information, visit www.calpops.org.