Philadelphia, PA (February 9, 2017) — The best of modern Broadway is coming to the Philly POPS stage at the Kimmel Center on February 24, 25, and 26. David Charles Abell — the internationally celebrated conductor who wowed POPS audiences for three Christmas seasons — will lead the 65-piece POPS orchestra, the 180-voice Festival Chorus, and three of Broadway’s most-talented stars: Hugh Panaro, Rachel York, and Alli Mauzey.
On deck: showstoppers from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera (with Panaro, the Philadelphia-native who starred in the title role on Broadway), Les Misérables (with York who starred as Fantine on Broadway), Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, Wicked (with Mauzey who starred as Glinda on Broadway), and more iconic shows.
“Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Mamma Mia! — these are the great Broadway musicals of our time,” said guest conductor David Charles Abell. “Here’s your chance to experience songs from them, and many more, with the full power of the Philly POPS orchestra and three fabulous soloists who have all starred on Broadway. I’ve conducted music from these shows all over the world and can promise that you’ll have a spectacular time!”
The program of Broadway hit includes:
Hairspray: “You Can’t Stop the Beat”
Cats: “Jellicle Ball”
Into the Woods: “Children Will Listen”
Beauty and the Beast: “Be Our Guest”
Wicked: “Popular” and “Defying Gravity”
Miss Saigon: “I Still Believe”
The Phantom of the Opera: “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” and “The Music of the Night”
The Bodyguard: “I Will Always Love You”
Les Misérables: “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Bring Him Home”
About Blockbuster Broadway’s guests:
David Charles Abell is a favorite of POPS audiences after his three years conducting the popular Christmas show. He is widely known for conducting the 10th and 25th anniversary Les Misérables concerts on PBS and for his radio and television appearances in the UK, most notably at the BBC Proms. Classical music, opera and musical theater all contribute to his diverse career, unified by a serious yet theatrical approach. He attended Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia for seven years.
Hugh Panaro played the Phantom in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times. He made his Broadway debut in the original production of Les Misérables as Marius. Philadelphians remember his performance as Jean Valjean in the Walnut Street Theatre's Les Mis in 2008, which earned him the prestigious Barrymore Award. Born in Philadelphia’s East Oak Lane neighborhood, Hugh graduated from La Salle College High School and Temple University.
Rachel York is known for her critically acclaimed Broadway performances in City of Angels, Les Misérables, Victor/Victoria (for which she won the Drama Desk Award) with Dame Julie Andrews, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sly Fox with Richard Dreyfuss, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels co-starring Jonathan Pryce. She has appeared in many films and television series, and has lent her voice to animated work.
Alli Mauzey starred on Broadway as Glinda in the 10th Anniversary company of Wicked. She also appeared on Broadway as Lenora in the musical Cry-Baby (for which she won a Theatre World Award and was nominated for a Drama League Award) and Brenda in Hairspray. She voices many animated characters and is a series regular on the animated television series Alpha Teens On Machines.
The Philly POPS Festival Chorus is a 180-voice ensemble that performs with the Philly POPS for A Philly POPS Christmas and other Subscription Series concerts, under the direction of Jeffrey Kern. The Festival Chorus is an auditioned, volunteer organization comprised of singers ranging from high school students to retired professionals. The chorus has performed with many professional artists including Lisa Vroman, Faith Prince, Capathia Jenkins, Ashley Brown, Lisa Howard, Lauren Kennedy, Rachel York, Alice Ripley, Ann Hampton Calloway, and The von Trapp Family Children.
Schedule of events:
Friday, February 24
6:30pm: Free pre-concert conversation with CBS Radio Philadelphia's RJ McKay and entertainment by the GAMP (Girard Academic Music Program) choir, Plaza Stage, Kimmel Center
8pm: Blockbuster Broadway, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center
Saturday, February 25
1:30pm: Free pre-concert conversation with CBS Radio Philadelphia's RJ McKay and entertainment by the Franklin Learning Center choir, Plaza Stage, Kimmel Center
3pm: Blockbuster Broadway, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center
Sunday, February 26
1:30pm: Free pre-concert conversation with CBS Radio Philadelphia's RJ McKay and musical entertainment, Plaza Stage, Kimmel Center
3pm: Blockbuster Broadway, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center
The Philly POPS Subscription Series is made possible thanks to Presenting Sponsor Parx Casino®.
About The Philly POPS
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert presentations and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives.
Now in its 38th season, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania serves a consistently growing audience of over 100,000 annually. Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keeps listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs from American traditions of music up through today’s chart toppers.
Outside the concert hall, Salute Series performances – including POPS on Independence on July 3 and the I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders – celebrate the American tradition of service around important national holidays; POPS in Schools enhances music education for Philadelphia School District students; and POPS Outside brings POPS music to local communities.
The Philly POPS performs as a founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.