BWW Review: Philly Pops MUSIC OF ELTON JOHN Soars!
"We were so pleased with his Music of Billy Joel presentation in 2016 that we brought him back for Elton John!" ~ Frank Giordano, Pres. CEO Encore Series Inc. The Philly Pops. Under the baton of the robust and entertaining guest conductor Stuart Chafetz, this seasoned crowd was in for a real treat.
Cavanaugh looking jazzy in his blue shirt and shoes got off on the "right foot "opening with "Philadelphia Freedom". Incidentally, this brought back a personal memory to me having covered the Kimmel Center opening Gala event featuring Sir Elton John singing that classic to a much appreciative Philly crowd. Young Michael wasted no time hammering out the hits "Still Standing", a heartfelt "Your Song" a stomping "Take Me To the Pilot" and a touching "Funeral for a Friend". Cavanaugh's elite and talented band features Jamie Hosmer on keyboard, acoustic guitar and vocals, William Venditti, bass guitar and vocals, Howard Arthur, guitar and vocals and Johnny Fedevich on drums.
The "always up for the task" Philly Pops again show their versatility with a medley of Chicago hits spotlighting Cavanaugh's William Venditti with lead vocals for "Saturday in the Park". Cavanaugh returns to close out Act One with Paul McCartney's "Live or Let Die", "Honkey Cat," "Live or Let Die", "Saturday Night's Alright" and a Michael Cavanaugh song from his new album "Dig In".
Act 2 opens with "Pinball Wizard", Yellow Brick Road", "Rocket Man", all pretty much accompanied by the excited crowd. Michael Cavanaugh appeared on Broadway in Billy Joel's Movin Out and was handpicked by Joel to play his music with good reason; this young man is super talented, versatile, energetic and simply a nice guy! A second Pops medley includes snips of Pink Floyd, "Pretty Woman", "I Love Rock and Roll". Cavanaugh and Co. round out the tribute with "Tiny Dancer", "Sun Going down On Me", an 'audience participation' of "Piano Man" and close with an encore song "Crocodile Rock".
THE MUSIC OF Elton John with Michael Cavanaugh presented with the Philly Pops played at the Kimmel Center on Nov.10-12. For upcoming information about the Philly Pops 2017-18 season visit www.phillypops.org or call 215.893.1999
Photos: www.michaelcavanuagh.com, Bachrach Photos, The Philly Pops.org and Michelle Cipolla