BWW Review: FROM DALLAS WITH LOVE at Neel Performing Arts Center

BWW Review: FROM DALLAS WITH LOVE at Neel Performing Arts Center

Audrey Landers is an accomplished actress, singer, writer, composer and producer. She is best known to fans worldwide for her seductive role as JR's mistress, Afton Cooper, in the iconic television show Dallas. No, she did not shoot JR! Miss Landers has also made headlines with her controversial Playboy Magazine lay out posing with her clothes on. She can been seen in hundreds of television roles during the 80s and 90s.Throughout her career, she has continued to perform live shows in Europe, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, headlining with Billy Crystal and Rich Little, among many others. While working in the United States, she was breaking records in Europe as a singer and composer. She has earned 10 gold singles, four gold albums and two platinum albums.

Sarasota/Bradenton fans were treated to an intimate evening with Audrey and the Pops Orchestra in their Valentine Show, From Dallas with Love. The sultry songstress sang to a packed house several beautiful renditions of Duke Ellington's work, and Cole Porter and Lerner and Loewe classics, as well as some of her own favorites such as "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow".

Under the animated baton of Conductor Dr. Robyn L. Bell, the Pops and Miss Landers were a lovely match for the repertoire they chose. Dr. Bell made mention that most guest artists attend one rehearsal with the orchestra, but Audrey came to four, paying careful attention to details. The concert was served up, cabaret style where there was interaction with the audience, narrative in between songs and fun exchanges of dialogue between Audrey and her Conductor. At one point audience members were asked to stand declaring 10, 20, 50 years of marriage. Because it was a Valentine celebration couples were asked to come down and enjoy a dance together while being serenaded by the full orchestra.

Audrey exudes a quality of honesty and kindness that carries over from her song delivery to her connection with her fans. She delighted concert-goers with "Solitude", Mood Indigo", a jazzy "It Don't Mean a Thing, (If it Ain't Got That Swing)", "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Stormy Weather". She closed the evening with a beautiful version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and received a standing ovation. Afterwards she stayed for a meet and greet and graciously posed for pictures and autographs.

Dr. Bell is in her 7th season as the leader of the Pops Orchestra. She has earned a Masters Degree in conducting from the University of Tennessee and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University. She is the Director of Instrumental Studies with the State College of Florida where she conducts the Symphonic Band and the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra. She is quick to boast the diversity of her Pop's musicians. Some are professional musicians, such as pianist Steve Orich, who penned the orchestration for Jersey Boys. Other members include a combat Vet, a married couple, a pet cemetery owner, a dentist, a podiatrist and one gentleman who helped build the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Pops Orchestra was founded in 1975 under the direction of Arlene Stein and in one year grew from 5 to 30 members. Today the Pops is made up of 65 professional and non-professional musicians. They perform several concerts a year in Sarasota and Bradenton. For more information on the Pops visit www.thepopsorchestra.org.

For more information on Audrey Landers visit http://www.audrey-landers.com/

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