Oh My Stars, Sequins, and Symphony
A Review of the PSO’s March 6th 2014 Pops Concert
From: Roving Pittsburgher Report and PositivePittsburghLiveMagazine.com
Written By: Stephanie Curtice | March 7th 2014
What I fun concert! I don’t know how else to start this review, other than that. I was seat dancing practically the whole concert and singing like a song bird all the way home. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Jack Everly presented “All That Jazz”, a musical montage of hits from Cabaret, Chicago, The Act, Kiss of the Spider Woman, New York, New York and more.
With a proper “Willkomen” from Ron Remke, the musical celebration of the songwriting duo Kander and Ebb was in full swing. Remke was joined by Nikki Renee Daniels, Ted Keegan, Pittsburgh native Kirsten Scott and Tony award-winning Beth Leavel. Though there were only five singers this was no park n’ bark stuffy concert. The audience was both dazzled by the singing stars and bedazzled by all the glitzy costume changes.
Ted Keegan, who has previously sung the role of the Phantom on Broadway, whisked us away with “First You Dream” from Steel Pier. His voice will make you melt. He later showed a light-hearted comical side singing “Mister Cellophane” from Chicago. He is phenomenal!
The girls started spicing things up with “Two Ladies” and “Everybody’s Girl” from Cabaret. One could totally see how Beth Leavel won a Tony. She is a total ham and your eyes will never leave her because she is such an entertainer on every level. The trio of gals kept the heat coming in the second half with “City Lights” from The Act and “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago.
|John Kander and Fred Ebb|
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)
The works of the super successful songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb have become contemporary musical classics. Their recipe of steamy and provocative story lines, snappy lyrics, and jazzy orchestration led to 5 decades worth of hit musicals and films.
Orchestras for musicals are normally much smaller, maybe to fit down in the close quarters of the pit. But, the PSO brought a robust and studio recording-like sound to these musical favorites, without sounding clunky. It was a great opportunity to hear snappy character and a jazzy side of the PSO’s playing.
Guest Conductor, Jack Everly made two promises to the audience at Heinz Hall - we would leave the concert happier than when we arrived, and though we would hear both songs we knew and some we didn’t, all would be great. He was absolutely right on both counts.
Friday, March 7th | 8 PM | Heinz Hall
Saturday, March 8th | 8 PM | Heinz Hall
Sunday, March 9th | 2:30 PM | Heinz Hall
By: Stephanie Curtice
Good News and Cultural Reporter
(c) PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com 2014