Marvin Hamlisch has been the principal pops conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra since the beginning of the this 2009-2010 season. Last night was his second performance in that role with the Orchestra. The previous concert was back in September of 2009, it did not sell well. In fact, the attendance was rather bleak. The previous show featured an evening with the Jazz Ambassadors Big Band (Part of the United States Army Field Band). It was a very enjoyable show with some great big band playing. The turnaround for the next show was a very welcome sight. Last night had a great reception and a full packed house.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the great showing last evening were the press appearances that Mr. Hamlisch made on Friday. One of the appearances at 11 A.M. on Channel 7 news in the morning Mr. Hamlisch's interview was witty and informative. Starting out the interview in tribute to Walter Chronkite with a joke "And that's the way it is". The stories began on the news broadcast and continued throughout the concert.
Last night's performance featured the music of Lerner and Loewe. Musicals included selections from My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Gigi. The interactive moments included a young interaction between a young audience member and Marvin Hamlisch. He always takes a moment to make sure members of the audience feel as though they are part of the show.
For myself, this is the fifth time I've performed with Marvin Hamlisch, sometimes you hear similar stories but most of the time he tries to keep the show current. There was a story about Mickey Rourke and Mike Tyson last week at the Golden Globes, a little bit of political humor and improv on the piano.
For the next Marvin Hamlisch show which will occur on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 7:30 with Sock Hop 50's - music featuring the music of the 1950's. The pops series continues next week (Saturday February 13 7:30 PM) with Michael Cavanaugh bringing the music of Billy Joel and more (the more being Elton John, and Jerry Lee Lewis).
This week Opera Colorado (Colorado Symphony Orchestra) performs Rossini's The Barber of Seville (Saturday at 7:35 Ellie Caulkins Opera House)