Philadelphia, PA (August 15, 2018) — The Philly POPS will make its 40th Anniversary Season debut with performances by Broadway star Leslie Odom Jr. on September 28, 29 and 30 at the Kimmel Center.
A native of the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia, Odom rocketed to fame in his portrayal of Aaron Burr in Hamilton—winning him a Tony and a Grammy award in the process. Earlier this year, he sang “America the Beautiful” to a worldwide audience at Super Bowl LII. Outside of the theatre, Odom has also released two solo albums and a book.
Odom will perform with the 65-piece Philly POPS Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Michael Krajewski. His performance will feature elegant, modern interpretations of standards that are intimately connected to the 40th anniversary of the POPS, such as “Autumn Leaves,” “Unforgettable” and hits by Jerome Kern, most notably “Look for the Silver Lining”—a nod to the POPS’ “Happy Birthday to Jerome Kern and Mozart” concert series from January 1985. He’ll also perform selections that pay homage to his time on Broadway, including “Without You” from Rent.
All guests are welcome to arrive 90 minutes prior to each concert for free pre-concert entertainment, including a conversation led by CBS Radio Philadelphia’s RJ McKay and festive music in the Plaza in the Kimmel Center lobby. The pre-concert entertainment will include performances by students from Masterman and CAPA schools, the two School District of Philadelphia schools that Odom attended. Both schools are part of the POPS in Schools program, and the student performers will be invited to attend one of his concerts.
The Philly POPS Subscription Series is made possible thanks to 40th Anniversary Season Sponsor, PARX Casino®.
About Leslie Odom Jr.
Multifaceted performer Leslie Odom, Jr. has most recently been seen in the blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for the role of “Aaron Burr.”
He is a Grammy Award winner as a principal soloist on Hamilton’s Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won the 2015 award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Odom, Jr. originated the role of Burr in a sold-out run at The Public Theater in 2015, earning a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical.
Odom, Jr. made his Broadway debut at the age of 17 in Rent, before heading to Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious School of Drama, where he graduated with honors. He is the recipient of a 2002 Princess Grace Award for Acting, which is dedicated to identifying emerging talent in theater, dance and film.
Additional theater credits include Leap of Faith on Broadway, for which he won the 2012 Astaire Award for Outstanding Male Dancer on Broadway and was nominated for a Drama League Award; the 2014 musical Venice, which also played at The Public Theater; and the Encores! Off-Center production of Tick, Tick… Boom! which was his first time working with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
On the small screen, Odom, Jr. is best-known for his portrayal of “Sam Strickland” in the NBC musical series Smash, and his recurring role as Reverend Curtis Scott on Law & Order: SVU. He’s also appeared in episodes of Gotham, Person of Interest, Grey’s Anatomy, House of Lies, Vanished and CSI: Miami. On the big screen he starred in the 2012 film Red Tails opposite Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and David Oyelowo.
As a recording artist, his self-titled debut album was part-funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised $40,971. The album was released in 2014 by Borderlight Entertainment, Inc.
Odom, Jr. was raised in Philadelphia, and currently resides in New York City.
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 performances and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives.
Now celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season, the POPS, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia’s partner in civic celebration, serves a consistently growing audience of over 200,000 annually. Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keep listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs from American traditional music up through to today’s chart-toppers. The Philly POPS BIG Band, an 18-20 piece ensemble performing a rock and rhythm and blues repertoire, premiered in 2017 to enthusiastic response at the July 4 Welcome America Concert on the Parkway.
Outside the concert hall, free Salute Series performances – including Memorial Salute, July 3 POPS on Independence, July 4 POPS on the Parkway and the I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders concert – celebrate the American tradition of service around important national holidays. POPS in Schools enhances music education for Philadelphia School District students; 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.