Cole Porter's Broadway: Too Darn Hot | The Philly Pops
 
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Cole Porter's Broadway: Too Darn Hot

David Charles Abell, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Apr 12-14, 2019
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Featuring

David Charles Abell, conductor
featuring
Catherine Russell, vocalist
Lisa Vroman, vocalist 
Ben Davis, vocalist

Recently appointed POPS Principal Guest Conductor David Charles Abell has long combined his Philly roots with an international flair. Cole Porter, one of the best American songwriters, owns a legacy that continues to charm Broadway audiences today. Abell’s tribute is an original program of Porter’s best, sung by jazz stylist Catherine Russell and Broadway stars Lisa Vroman and Ben Davis. “Too Darn Hot,” “Anything Goes,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “Begin the Beguine” are certain to deliver Porter’s infectious musical magic with The Philly POPS’ unique sound.

Helpful Information

This program, including intermission, is approximately two hours in length. Artists and program are subject to change without notice.

Discounted parking passes are available from select garages. For more information, please call 215.893.1999 or add a parking pass during checkout when purchasing your tickets.

Photography

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Enjoy the show!

Guest Artists

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor

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Throughout his distinguished career, conductor David Charles Abell has excelled in a wide range of musical genres, from contemporary opera to worldwide TV broadcasts of Les Misérables. He has appeared four times at the BBC Proms and has worked with such distinguished artists as Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Lea Salonga, Idina Menzel, Heather Headley, Petula Clark, Bryn Terfel, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison, Michael Ball, Michael Feinstein and Stephen Hough.

David was appointed Music Director of the Philly POPS a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began. He helped the organization pivot by planning and conducting one of the first US orchestral streaming events in July, 2020. The subsequent Christmas celebration he conducted was broadcast to half a million US servicemen and women by the American Forces Network.

Born in North Carolina, David earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School after intensive viola, piano and composition studies. Turning his attention to conducting at the age of fourteen, he went on to study with Leonard Bernstein and Nadia Boulanger.

Recent projects have included a new production of La bohème at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Francesca Zambello’s Porgy and Bess at Atlanta Opera, Barrie Kosky’s Die Zauberflöte at Opera Philadelphia, and Tomer Zvulun’s Eugene Onegin at Hawaii Opera Theatre. He is a regular guest conductor at Cincinnati Opera, where he has led Die Fledermaus and Kevin Puts’ Silent Night among others. In the UK, David made his debut with English National Opera in Sweeney Todd (starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson). subsequently returning for an equally-acclaimed Carousel. He recently conducted his own new critical edition of Kiss Me, Kate for Opera North and the Théâtre du Châtelet.
 

Catherine Russell

Catherine Russell , vocalist

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Vocalist Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist/composer/bandleader, and Louis Armstrong's long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering vocalist/guitarist/bassist who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Sy Oliver. 

Catherine’s professional life began early. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she embarked upon musical adventures with Carrie Smith, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, and Rosanne Cash, among others, touring the world and appearing on over 200 albums. Her 2006 debut album Cat, (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), garnered rave reviews, paving the way for her 2008 sophomore release, Sentimental Streak. Catherine was a guest on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", PBS-TV’s “Tavis Smiley Show”, and NPR's "Fresh Air", “Piano Jazz”, “Mountain Stage”, “World Café”, and “JazzSet”. 

She has won a prestigious German Record Critics' Award and a Living Blues magazine's critics' poll. Catherine Russell's third album, Inside This Heart of Mine, reached #1 on JazzWeek and Roots Music Report’s radio charts, while also charting on Billboard and reaching #1 on I-Tunes jazz charts. A fourth album, Strictly Romancin’ was released in February 2012, and was awarded Prix du Jazz Vocal (Vocal Album of The Year) by the French Jazz Academy, Grand Prix du Hot Club de France, and a Bistro Award for Outstanding Recording. Also in 2012, Catherine Russell won a Grammy Award as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO-TV series, Boardwalk Empire.

In 2013, Catherine contributed 3 songs to the soundtrack of the film, Kill Your Darlings. Her 5th solo album, Bring It Back, was released worldwide in February of 2014 on the Jazz Village label, receiving a *****5 Star Review in Downbeat Magazine.

In September 2016, Catherine Russell released her 6th solo album, titled Harlem On My Mind, featuring songs from the Great African American Songbook. With universal acclaim, Catherine Russell has performed on four continents. She's been a hit at major Jazz Festivals including Monterey, Newport, North Sea, JazzAscona, Montreal, Bern, Rochester International, Panama, Tanglewood, and at sold out venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Scullers in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC, SFJazz in San Francisco, and Pasadena Pops in Los Angeles. All Music Guide says, "Russell emerged as a retro old school vocalist for the ages." Her repertoire features a selection of gems from the 1920s through the present; vital interpretations, bursting with soul and humor. With an off-the-beaten-path song selection, sparkling acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach, Catherine Russell has joined the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American Popular Song.

Lisa Vroman, vocalist

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From Broadway to classics, on stage and in concert, Lisa Vroman has established herself as one of America's most versatile voices. She starred on Broadway, Los Angeles and San Francisco as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera and garnered theater critics’ awards for her portrayal. Her Broadway debut was in Aspects of Love and she was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Misérables.

Off Broadway and regionally, she has starred as Marian Paroo in The Music Man, Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate, Birdie in Regina, Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Anna 1 in The Seven Deadly Sins, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella with the New York City Opera. Lisa appeared on PBS as Johanna in Sweeney Todd and Hey! Mr. Producer. She has played Laurey in Oklahoma at the BBC PROMS festival, Anna Leonowens in The King and I, Mary Turner in Of Thee I Sing, and sang and danced opposite Dick Van Dyke as Mary Poppins at the Hollywood Bowl Disney’s 75th.

Recent performances have included a multi-city tour of China, An Evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a concert series with L’Opera de Rennes in France, and playing the role of Maria Callas in Terence McNally’s award winning play, Master Class. This season, Lisa made her debut with the Gewandhaus Orchester in Leipzig and joined award winning American composer Tom Cipullo for the premiere of his new opera, Mayo. Ongoing performances include a series of events with Music Unwound and the Kurt Weill Foundation of a Weill/Brecht/Blitzstein Cabaret with Baritone William Sharp, and symphonic performances of Weill on and off Broadway, featuring The Seven Deadly Sins

Please visit www.lisavroman.com

Ben Davis, vocalist

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A versatile singing actor, Ben Davis was most recently seen in the City Center Encores! production of Irving Berlin’s, Call Me Madam. His extensive Broadway career includes the Tony Award winning musical, Dear Evan Hansen, Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music with Elaine Stritch and Bernadette Peters, Javert and Enjolras in Les Miserables, as Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie and “The Preacher” in Violet. He received a Tony Honor and Ovation Award for his work as Marcello in Baz Luhrmann’s production of La Bohème. This fall, he starred in the off-Broadway production of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever at the Irish Repertory Theatre. Ben recently toured the country as Captain Von Trapp in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.  He starred as Fred/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate at London's Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms and performed opposite Kelli O'Hara and Victor Garber in Kurt Weill's, Knickerbocker Holiday at Lincoln Center.

An active concert artist, Ben performed as a guest soloist at Tanglewood with the Boston Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Caramoor Festival, the RTE Orchestra in Dublin, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic w/Kelli O’Hara, and West Virginia Symphony. He also performed at The Hollywood Bowl as Patrick in Mame and again with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Bernstein’s Mass.

His TV and Film credits include a film version of  Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, Papageno in ​​The Magic Flute directed by Kenneth Branagh, Blue Bloods, 30 Rock,  and Numb3rs.

David Charles Abell brings his trademarksophistication and wit to the Cole Porter songbook. Throughout its 40-year history, the POPS has frequently performed Cole Porter’s music—paying special tribute to its elegance and grace.“Night and Day” and “Anything Goes” were both featured in the March 1990 program A Musical Salute to Fred Astaire and Ballroom Dancing.

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