MICHAEL FEINSTEIN & THE PASADENA POPS SALUTE THE MUSIC OF
THE SILVER SCREEN IN A SEASON FINALE FOR THE AGES
Pasadena, CA – Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS close their popular outdoor summer concert series at the Los Angeles County Arboretum on Saturday, September 10 with A Salute to Warner Bros.! The POPS season finale will provide a quintessential Feinstein experience with a showcase of singers and dancers recreating songs from films adapted from Broadway musicals The Music Man, Gypsy, and 42nd Street among others. The orchestra will also perform timeless instrumental favorites from the silver screen like John Williams’ theme from the original Superman, and who can forget the iconic Warner Bros. theme from Looney Tunes.
For the POPS’ annual movie night, Feinstein will uncover gems from the vault from every decade of Warner Brothers movie magic. He has prepared several pieces that will make their public premiere, including two works by Academy Award-winning composer Harry Warren, Warner Bros. go-to guy during the 30’s. In tribute to Warren’s work on 4nd Street, for which he wrote all of the music, Michael will break out a piece of background music called “The Love Theme from 42nd Street,” which has never been performed before a live audience.
“and that for me will be one of the highlights because again it’s a glorious piece of Hollywood history that’s been lost.” – Michael Feinstein
Feinstein will be pulling out all the stops for this spectacular season finale with oodles of surprises including a slew of special guests. Famed songwriter Alan Bergman, winner of three Academy Awards for Best Original Song, will make a guest appearance along with star of screen and stage – the stunning Lorna Luft. The evening’s soloists include jazz and swing songbird Allyson Briggs, pegged as “a female Frank Sinatra with the looks of Marilyn Monroe,” by the Times Square Chronicles and the irresistible vocals of crooner Todd Murray. To top it all off, West End and Broadway veteran Jon Peterson will show-off his singing and dancing chops in a show-stopping performance of “Yankee Doodle,” along with other surprise dance performances.
It’s the last chance to catch the best outdoor dinner party in town with spacious table seating with fine linens, or lawn seating for those who want to bring a blanket. Each option carries on the tradition of picnic-dining with your family and friends with Pasadena’s premier POPS orchestra! Among many venue amenities, concert goers can enjoy pre-ordered gourmet dining packages for on-site pickup just steps from their table from Julienne, Marston’s and Claud & Co. The food court hosts mouth-watering food trucks plus specialty ice creams by Choctál, and the venue now offers the convenience of two full beverage centers serving fine wines, beer, coffee and soft drinks.
Audiences get the ultimate outdoor concert experience with large LED video screens to see Michael Feinstein and the orchestra up close, superior sound and the high-quality production value that is a signature of the Pasadena POPS. Patrons may also visit the Pasadena Humane Society’s Mobile Adoption Unit, which will be on-site prior to each concert with deserving animals in need of a forever home as part of the Pups for POPS program. For those who want to make a night of it, exclusive hotel packages are available for POPS patrons at Pasadena’s landmark Hotel Constance.
All Pasadena POPS concerts are held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Grounds open for picnicking and dining at 5:30 p.m. and performances begin at 7:30 p.m. The Arboretum is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA. Subscribers may pre-purchase parking on-site at the Arboretum, and all concertgoers enjoy free parking at the adjacent Westfield Santa Anita shopping center with complimentary non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance.
Single tickets start at $25 and are available by calling the box office at (626)-793-7172, online at PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org, or at the Arboretum on the day of the concert.
IF YOU GO:
- What: The Pasadena POPS presents Cole Porter Night.
Michael Feinstein, Principal Pops Conductor, Tom and Erika Girardi Chair
Alan Bergman, special guest
Lorna Luft, special guest
Allyson Briggs, soloist
Todd Murray, soloist
- When: September 10 2016 at 7:30pm
- Where: The LA County Arboretum | 301 N Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007
- Cost: Tickets start at $25.00
- Dining: Gates open at 5:30pm for picnicking. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink or visit one of the many onsite gourmet food vendors.
- Parking: Subscribers have the opportunity to purchase onsite Arboretum parking. Single ticket holders may park for free at the Westfield Santa Anita shopping center with free non-stop shuttles to the main gate.
ABOUT THE PASADENA SYMPHONY ASSOCIATION
Recent Acclaim for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS
“The Pasadena Symphony signals a new direction…teeming with vitality…dripping with opulent, sexy emotion.” Los Angeles Times.
“…full of pulsating energy from first note to last… the strings were lushly resonant, the wind principals were at the top of their games, and the brass rang out with gleaming vigor.” – Pasadena Star News.
Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talented, sought after musicians. With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Internationally recognized, Grammy-nominated conductor, David Lockington, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association’s Music Director, with performance-practice specialist Nicholas McGegan serving as Principal Guest Conductor. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, is the Principal Pops Conductor, who succeeded Marvin Hamlisch.
A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) comprised of five performing ensembles, with over 250 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region. The PYSO Symphony often performs on the popular television show GLEE.
The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.
ABOUT MICHAEL FEINSTEIN
Michael Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe – in addition to his appearances at iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House – his work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.
In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Songbook Academy. This summer intensive open to students from across the country has produced graduates who have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.
The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas from Concord Records. The CD features Grammy Award -winning jazz pianist Alan Broadbent (Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole). Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released in 2011. He released the CDs The Power Of Two – collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek To Cheek, recorded with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. For Feinstein’s CD We Dreamed These Days, he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.
His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. The PBS series “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook,” the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award, was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS-TV Special, “New Year’s Eve at The Rainbow Room” – written and directed by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry – aired in 2014. For his nationally syndicated public radio program “Song Travels,” Michael interviews and performs alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.
Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. Under Feinstein’s leadership, the Pasadena Pops has quickly become a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014.
Michael’s book The Gershwins and Me – the Los Angeles Times best-seller from Simon & Schuster – features a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano.
Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Since 1999, he has served as Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall’s “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein” in conjunction with ASCAP. In 2010 he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Michael’s nightclub at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz since 2013. He debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below, his new club in New York, late in 2015. His first venue in New York, Feinstein’s at the Regency, featured major entertainers such as Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming from 1999 to 2012.
He has designed a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.
In 2013 Michael released Change Of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn in collaboration with four time Oscar and eleven time Grammy Award-winning composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn. The album celebrates Previn’s pop songs and motion picture classics. Earlier album highlights include Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of classics by Michael’s late friend Harry Warren, recording with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. His album with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb, was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.
Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously-unreleased tracks.
Michael was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Bob Merrill and Marshall Barer), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.
For more information, please visit www.MichaelFeinstein.com.
ABOUT ALAN BERGMAN
Alan Bergman (“Windmills of Your Mind,” with Marilyn Bergman and co-written with Michel Legrand, 1968 Oscar winner from The Thomas Crown Affair) serves as a member of the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the Johnny Mercer Foundation Board, the Artists’ Rights Foundation Board and the Jazz Bakery Board of Directors. Alan and his wife and writing partner, Marilyn Bergman, are both on the Executive Committee of the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. 2011 brought Alan special recognition from his Alma Mater when the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill presented him with their Distinguished Alumnus Award.
The songs of Alan and Marilyn Bergman have been enriching the great American songbook for over five decades. As lyricists for film, stage and television, they have created many unforgettable images with their lyrical mastery. Theirs is one of the most successful songwriting collaborations in an era of great popular music.
During their distinguished career, their songs have been nominated for sixteen Academy Awards, for which they have won three: “The Windmills of Your Mind” in 1968, “The Way We Were” in 1973, and the score for “Yentl” in 1984. “Windmills” and “The Way We Were” also earned Golden Globe Awards, and “The Way We Were” earned two Grammys.
“Lyrically, Alan Bergman” an album of their songs sung by Alan Bergman and accompanied by the Berlin Radio Orchestra was released on Verve Records.
Most recently, Alan has performed at the Library of Congress, the Southampton Performing Arts Center, and the Santa Barbara Lobero Theater. Alan and Marilyn Bergman reside in Beverly Hills and Montecito, CA.
ABOUT ALLYSON BRIGGS
“Allyson Briggs is a female Frank Sinatra with the looks of Marilyn Monroe.”
– Times Square Chronicles
The songbird and bandleader of Fleur Seule, a 1940s Jazz and Swing band dedicated to the music of the big band days. Allyson grew up singing and loving this music, performing it from a very young age, and as she acquired more lingual prowess at NYU, expanded her scope of repertoire to include music in seven languages, with plans for more.
On a mission to revive the greatest music ever written, now for her generation, she strives to share her love and passion for the joy and the glamour of it all. She believes in the power of simplicity, the playfulness of music, and the Great American Songbook. She is an old soul who refined her craft in New York City and has been making great strides in bringing the best of music back for some, and anew to the younger set. She is honored to share a stage and a mission with the incomparable Michael Feinstein.
For more information, visit: www.fleurseule.com.
ABOUT LORNA LUFT
Lorna Luft’s upbringing could hardly have been more star-struck. Born to the legendary Judy Garland and her film producer husband Sid Luft, Lorna had the entertainment business in her blood. And as if to confirm her status as showbiz royalty, the new baby girl’s godfather was one Francis Albert Sinatra.
She made her debut in the industry at the age of 11, singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” in the 1963 Christmas edition of her mother’s television show. That episode also featured Lorna’s siblings Liza Minnelli and Joey Luft, and by the following summer she was appearing in the family’s concert tour. Culminating in a month-long residence at New York’s Palace Theatre, it was the last time the 14-year-old Lorna would star on stage with her mother.
Lorna made her Broadway debut four years later in the show Promises, Promises written by Neil Simon, a musical version of the film classic The Apartment that was best known for the song “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” She returned to the stage in 1981 for an American tour of They’re Playing Our Song and the following year made her big-screen debut in Grease 2 alongside Michelle Pfeiffer. By 1983 she was back on the New York stage, starring as Peppermint Patty in a production of Snoopy The Musical. But it was not all light-hearted singing and dancing as she also appeared opposite Farrah Fawcett in the tough drama Extremities.
Television guest appearances followed throughout the 80s before she once more went back to her stage roots. She spent several weeks in 1990 touring the United States in an extravaganza called Jerry Herman’s Broadway Years, before starring as Miss Adelaide in a US and subsequently world tour of Guys and Dolls that ran for nearly two years. In 1996 she was in Dublin, playing alongside Millicent Martin and Dave Willetts in a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, and she starred as Mama Rose in a University of Richmond staging of Gypsy.
In recent years, she’s been a regular performer in the UK and Ireland. For the 2006 festive season, she made an appearance in the British stage premiere of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical, an adaptation of the classic 1954 Bing Crosby movie. She reprised her role the following year for runs at the Edinburgh Playhouse and Millennium Centre in Cardiff before picking up the robes of the Wicked Witch of the West for a 2008 Christmas production of The Wizard of Oz at Salford’s Lowry Theatre.
She toured the UK in 2009 in a production of Hugh Whitemore’s play Pack of Lies, which co-starred Jenny Seagrove and Simon Shepherd, and in July that year paid tribute to her mother with a special recording for Radio 2 of Friday Night is Music Night. Lorna Luft and Friends, staged at London’s Mermaid Theatre, also included John Barrowman, Frances Rufelle and Linzi Hateley.
Lorna has maintained a concert career alongside her other performances, and has won huge critical acclaim for her shows, appearing at such prestigious venues as the Hollywood Bowl, the London Palladium and Madison Square Gardens. She surprised audiences at Carnegie Hall in 2006 when she made a guest appearance to duet with Rufus Wainwright on the song “After You’ve Gone,” providing a dramatic finale to his tribute concert Rufus Does Judy.
Lorna’s multi-media production, entitled Songs My Mother Taught Me, toured the UK in 2007 and was released as an album the same year, co-produced by Barry Manilow and Lorna’s Scottish husband, Colin R. Freeman. The show proved hugely popular with both audiences and critics: when it was staged in the US, Variety magazine hailed it as “a rousing, dramatically riveting musical event”, while the LA Times called her performance “heart-stopping and thrilling… an incandescent revelation not to be missed”.
Adding to her list of talents, in 1998 Lorna wrote a family memoir entitled Me and My Shadows, which was subsequently adapted as an Emmy award-winning television mini-series. And she’s also a tireless campaigner for charity, not least since being diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2012. Vowing to fight the disease, Lorna is committed to being an avid fighter and fundraiser.
This year, Lorna has been back on the cabaret scene with a new solo show entitled Accentuate the Positive, as well as guest-starring in An Evening of Movies and Musicals. There’s little evidence of her giving up on what she calls “the family business.” But then, with showbiz in her blood, that probably shouldn’t come as any surprise.
ABOUT TODD MURRAY
During an era when there is a shortage of male baritone jazz and cabaret singers, Todd Murray has emerged as a notable interpreter of standards, newer material, and his own originals. Blessed with a deep baritone voice, Todd is an intimate performer who excels on romantic ballads, swings at every tempo, and does justice to the lyrics that he sings.
Born in a small farming community in Pennsylvania, he learned many older standards from his aunt who played stride piano. He moved to New York City not long after college and soon was performing as the lead singer for Royal Viking Cruise Line, many roles at the famous Paper Mill Playhouse, and the lead in New York Gilbert and Sullivan Player’s off-Broadway production of The Gondoliers. He was in the first Broadway touring company of The Secret Garden.
“I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a business venture and as it happened I was cast in a production of Much Ado about Nothing at South Coast Repertory that was set in the 1920s. They wanted me to sing in a Bing Crosby style and I began to realize my joy in singing American Standards.” Todd was soon presenting his first cabaret show, Let’s Face the Music directed by Art Manke at Hollywood’s famed Cinegrill, then in New York and nationally.
His debut solo CD, titled When I Sing Low, features Murray’s baritone accompanied by a full orchestra – a rarity these days, and was named “Best Vocal Recording” by TheaterMania.com. The sublime vocalist, Sue Raney, joined Todd on “Just in Time.” The catchy “Could ‘Ja,” is one of his favorite numbers on the recording. He is only the third vocalist to perform this obscure song, joining the esteemed company of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Another highlight is Todd’s original composition, “When I Sing Low.” “Since I have a bass-baritone voice and the tenor became king in most new Broadway shows, there were not a lot of new roles for me. This predicament led me to write ‘When I Sing Low,’ which in a witty way sums up the virtues of baritone singers.”
The release of the CD, When I Sing Low, led to a higher profile on the national cabaret circuit. He performed many times at the acclaimed New York Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, NYC, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Annenberg in Palm Springs, LA’s Catalina Jazz Club as well as artist series and notable cabaret venues throughout the nation. Todd’s second CD, Stardust & Swing, also uses a big band and like When I Sing Low, was recorded at the legendary Capitol Records Studios.
“The criteria for the CD Stardust and Swing was to include songs that elicit a sense of well-being and happiness and sweet memories: ‘Stardust,’ ‘Dream A Little Dream of Me,’ ‘Moonlight Becomes You,’ “I Wanna Be Around,’ ‘Teach Me Tonight’ (with legendary singer Marilyn Maye), and the not-so-well-known ‘If I Ruled the World’ (with Broadway’s Douglas Sills). In addition, Todd contributed two of his own new songs, “Patricia,” penned for famed food writer Patricia Wells, and “The Girl from Waco” that could easily be mistaken for 1930s standards.
Rex Reed, in the New York Observer called Todd “A cabaret prince headed for the big cabaret throne if I’ve ever spotted one…I felt privileged to listen.” And Stephen Holden, the esteemed New York Times music critic, recently wrote “This suave, handsome baritone is such a confident singer that his performance is the real deal. His unadorned interpretations of standards like ‘The Nearness of You,’ ‘You’ll Never Know,’ and ‘How Deep Is the Ocean?’ were impeccable.” As the finishing touch to these many recent successes, Todd was voted Broadwayworld.com’s 2015 “Best Male Vocalist” and “Best Cabaret Show.” A third CD is now available called Croon…when a whisper became a song which has garnered much praise including a nomination by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) for best original song “And I’m Leaving Today,” written with notable NYC pianist Alex Rybeck.
He is currently touring his critically-acclaimed show by the same name around the world. He can often be heard guest starring with Johnny Holiday and the Johnny Holiday Big Band at the famed Cicada Club in downtown Los Angeles. www.toddmurray.com #toddEmurray