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The Cleveland Orchestra’s Sci-Fi Spectacular is out of this world fun

It was an evening of delight as sci-fi classics were revisited.
It was an evening of delight as sci-fi classics were revisited.
The Cleveland Orchestra

Sci-Fi Spectacular

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Last evening, Trekkies, Wookies, Jedi Knights and Space Odyssey (and Oddities) circa 2001fans descended on Blossom Music Center for a delightful program dedicated to the music of all things alien encounter. The program featured the Cleveland Orchestra as part of the Blossom Music Festival as well as the Blossom Festival Chorus. Special guests were George Takei of Star Trek fame as narrator and Soprano Kristen Plumley. Jack Everly conducted as well as supplied a running commentary that in itself was very funny and entertaining.

The show got off to a rousing start with the main title overture from Star Wars which set the tone for the evening (which was one of fun and delight). Next on the bill was “Lost in Syndication” which consisted of a variety of samples from long ago TV shows that older members of the audience knew right off the bat. Later there was a prize of a light saber to the lucky winner who guessed four of the shows associated with that segment. The Orchestra then launched into “Adventures on Earth” from the movie E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial) by John Williams followed by a very moving rendition from “Somewhere in Time” by John Barry with Orchestra and Chorus.

“Superman March” by John Williams got the blood pumping again leading up to the last segment of the first half, “Star Trek Through the Years” featuring George Takei (in tuxedo) and Kristen Plumley (in vintage Star Trek uniform and who according to Mr. Takei had been beamed directly from the Starship Enterprise).

This led to intermission as fans swarmed to purchase bottles of rare Utovian water from the planet Ripoffus (which must have accounted for the $5.00 per bottle price tag).

During the intermission, two storm troopers from Star Wars appeared on stage and stood vigil at the conductor’s podium. Upon returning, the conductor, Jack Everly did a Jedi mind trick saying, “The musicians you seek are not in this group” which sent the evil soldiers on their way. There was also an appearance by Princess Leia modeling the latest in Light Saber gear. She was asked by Jack Everly if her hairdo was “sound cancelling”.

Refreshed and renewed (and feeling years younger due to the miracle effects of the liquid refreshment) the audience returned to hear the overture from “2001: Space Odyssey” (aka “Also sprach Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss). This was followed by “Close Encounters of the third Kind” again by John Williams (I see a pattern emerging). It was then time for “Music from Star Trek 2009” by Michael Giacchino.

One of the many highlights of the evening was the thematic and background music for “The Day the Earth Stood Still” by Bernard Herrmann that featured vocalizations by soprano Kristen Plumley and closing with Klaatu’s speech to the Earth as narrated by George Takei. It was a goose bump moment for everyone in the audience as a total hush fell over the entire complex (even the lawn area).

The show ended with a double bill as the Orchestra launched into “Dual of the Fates” from “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” by (who else) John Williams and ended on a high note with “The Throne Room and End Title” from “Star Wars” as the chorus once again added spoken Sanskrit to the former and vocalizations to the latter. Conductor Jack Everly had the last laugh as his baton suddenly turned into a mini-light saber much to the delight of the audience as the resounding crescendos echoed over the hills of Cuyahoga Falls.

This highly anticipated concert (some audience members came dressed as their favorite movie characters) was a fun, light and airy type of summer faire that is a nice break from the more serious of classical offerings. Everyone (including the Orchestra, Chorus and Special Guests) seemed to be truly enjoying themselves. Oh, how we love our Sci-Fi and the music and sounds that were invented to underscore it. Here is hoping that this program will return next year as well.

Upcoming Shows for the 2014 Blossom Music Festival include:

Sunday, July 20, 2014,
7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,conductor
Francesco Piemontesi,piano
Mozart and Shostakovich
Weber - Overture toDer Freischütz
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 27
Shostakovich - Symphony No.5

Sponsor: Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland

Saturday, July 26, 2014
8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
John Storgårds,conductor
Stephen Hough,piano
with the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra
Brett Mitchell,conductor
Beethoven and Liszt
Beethoven - Overture toFidelio
Liszt - Piano Concerto No. 1
Sibelius - Symphony No. 2

Sponsor: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Sunday, July 27, 2014
7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jack Everly, conductor
Christina Bianco, vocalist
Ted Keegan, vocalist
Ben Crawford, vocalist
Broadway Standing Ovations

Sponsor: PNC Bank

Saturday, August 2, 2014
8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Johannes Debus,conductor
Benjamin Grosvenor,piano
Romantic Rachmaninoff
Rameau - Selections fromLes Indes Galantes
Ravel - Piano Concerto in G major
Ravel - Pavane for a Dead Princess
Rachmaninoff - Symphonic Dances

Sunday, August 3, 2014
7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Richard Kaufman, conductor
Michael Sachs,trumpet
Hollywood under the Stars

Saturday, August 9, 2014
8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Matthew Halls,conductor
The Magic of Mozart
Mozart - Overture toIdomeneo
Tchaikovsky - Suite No. 4 (“Mozartiana”)
Mozart - Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Mozart - Symphony No. 36 (“Linz”)

Sponsor: Medical Mutual of Ohio

Sunday, August 10, 2014
7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jeffrey Kahane,conductor
Peter Otto,violin
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Strtavinsky - Suite fromPulcinella
Haydn - Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major
Mendelssohn - Music fromA Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mendelssohn - Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”)

Saturday, August 16, 2014
8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Jahja Ling,conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Yo-Yo Ma
Smetana – Overture to The Bartered Bride
Elgar - Cello Concerto
Dvorak - Symphony No. 6

Saturday, August 23, 2014
8:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Andrew Grams, conductor
Nadine Sierra,soprano
Christopher Pfund,tenor
Brian Mulligan,baritone
Blossom Festival Chorus
Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus
Carmina Burana
Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Listz - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Orff - Carmina Burana

Sponsor: The J.M. Smucker Company

Sunday, August 24, 2014
7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Michael Krajewski, conductor
Classical Mystery Tour
A Beatles Tribute
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Their U.S. Arrival

Saturday, August 30, 2014
7:00 p.m.*
Blossom Festival Orchestra
Richard Kaufman, conductor
Whitney Claire Kaufman,vocalist
Pat Sajak,narrator
Family FunFest at Blossom

* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting

Sponsor: The J.M. Smucker Company

Sunday, August 31, 2014
7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst,conductor
Cleveland Orchestra European Festivals Tour Send-off
Widmann - Con brio: Concert Overture for Orchestra
Brahms - Symphony No. 3
Brahms - Symphony No. 4

All artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.

Family-friendly “Under 18s Free” tickets continue at every Blossom Music Festival concert

The Cleveland Orchestra continues its mission to offer free tickets to young people 17 and under for every Blossom concert again this season. More than 26,000 young people attended Blossom Music Festival concerts through the “Under 18s Free” ticket program in 2011 and 2012.

The “Under 18s Free” initiative is an integral part of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences, which was created to provide broader access for the Northeast Ohio community and is endowed through the leadership and generosity of the Maltz Family Foundation.

Single Tickets are on sale now

Pavilion tickets range in price from $25 to $100. Tickets for the Lawn and the General Admission sections of the Pavilion for Blossom Music Festival concerts are priced at $20. Individual tickets go on sale by telephone at (216) 231-1111 (or Toll Free at (800) 686-1141), in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online atclevelandorchestra.com.

The Blossom Box Office is open throughout the summer on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. through intermission on concert days.

Lawn Ticket Books include free “Under 18s” and Pavilion Upgrades

Lawn Ticket Books of ten tickets are available for $150 (a savings of 25% off the single-ticket price). Two “Under18s Free” are admitted with each adult Lawn Ticket and the Lawn Ticket Book includes two free Pavilion upgrade coupons.

Create Your Own Series

A Create-Your-Own Series package is being offered again this season. When purchasing 4 or more concerts, there is a savings of 10% off the single-ticket price. There is no limit to the number of Create-Your-Own Series purchases. All subscribers receive free parking in Lot B.

All artists, programs, and prices are subject to change

About Blossom Music Center

Blossom Music Center, which opened in 1968 as the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra, is located 25 miles south of Cleveland just north of Akron, Ohio. The Center’s name honors the Dudley S. Blossom family, major supporters of The Cleveland Orchestra throughout its history. Blossom is situated in the rolling hills of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which protects 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland. Blossom lies within the city limits of Cuyahoga Falls, an Ohio community first settled in the early 1800s, at 1145 West Steels Corners Road in Summit County. Blossom reopened in 2003 following the completion of the Blossom Redevelopment Project, which featured a highly-acclaimed renovation of the facility and improved patron amenities. The Blossom Redevelopment Project was the first major capital improvements project in the history of the facility, which serves more than 400,000 visitors each summer. The Blossom Festival is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not permitted at concerts and other events during the Blossom Festival.

Blossom Music Center address: 1145 W Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223