BWW Review: Philly Pops are TOO DARN HOT!
This special event featured three outstanding vocalists; Broadway's Lisa Vroman (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables as well as Kiss Me Kate), Ben Davis (Dear Evan Hansen, A Little Night Music, Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Jazz vocalist Catherine Russell. Russell's father Luis was a legendary pianist/composer/musical director for Louis Armstrong. Catherine's musical adventures included affiliations with Steely Dann, David Bowe, and Cyndi Lauper.
The 2 hour event opened with the always amazing Pops and an Overture to Anything Goes followed by Catherine Russell's sultry numbers "It's All Right With Me" (Can-Can 1953) and "Get Out Of Town" from Leave It To Me! (1938). Ben Davis and Lisa Vroman delighted the full house with the popular "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" (High Society 1956). Lisa solos with a soaring version of "In the Still of the Night". The First Half finishes with The Pops own version of "Begin the Beguine" (Jubilee 1935) which featured Pops lead trumpeter Matt Gallagher, who just wowed the crowd!
The Second half opens with a wonderful medley from the Pops featuring Cole Porter's most famous musical Kiss Me Kate. Joining the Pops and vocalists for a surprising addition are the Pops Festive Chorus featuring 100+ singers rising from the Conductors Circle for a rousing addition to the fun joining for "Another Op'nin;Another Show". Lisa Vroman stuns the audience with a breathtaking "So In Love" and Ben Davis tickles the crowd with "Where is the Life that Late I Led?" A special crowd pleaser (and personal favorite), was a romantic rendering of "True Love" (High Society 1956) which soared as the Pops and the Festive Chorus filled the spacious hall with this hauntingly beautiful love song.
Catherine Russell delights again with "Do I Love You?" (DuBarry Was a Lady 1939) and the versatile Lisa Vroman brings out her prowess, prancing skills with a lively version of "Find Me A Primitive Man" (Fifty Million Frenchman 1929!) and Ben David dazzles with "Night and Day" (Gay Divorce 1932). The encore ended with a subtle, superb return of a special Cole Porter arrangement of "Begin the Beguine" which included the entire cast of vocalists as well as the Pops Festive Chorus for a breathtaking finale.
Cole Porter'S "BROADWAY TOO DARN HOT" played at the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. Phila. Pa April 12-14. For more information about the Philly Pops 2019-20 season visit www.phillypops.org or call for tickets at 215.893.1999-
Photos: Philly Pops website