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Pacific Symphony Pops presents one of America’s most-loved film classics, "Singin' in the Rain" - with the score performed live - for another sensational symphonic night at the movies!
April 19, 2013
Widely proclaimed to be the greatest movie musical of all time, “Singin’ in the Rain,” with its Academy Award-nominated score, lovable characters, priceless dialogue and memorable songs, is the perfect choice for Pacific Symphony Pops’ upcoming presentation of “A Symphonic Night at the Movies.” A beautifully restored version of the 1952 American classic plays above the stage as the orchestra performs Nacio Herb Brown and lyricist Arthur Freed’s music live and in synch with the film. Set in Hollywood in the 1920s, the feel-good comedy follows three actors in their transition from silent films to “talkies.” The picture stars Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen, who dazzle viewers with impressive dancing, singing and quick-witted humor. With critics still raving today, the film ranked fifth on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time in 2007 and number one on its list of 100 Years of Musicals. It received 100 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, the orchestra plays all of the film’s popular songs, including “Fit as a Fiddle (and Ready for Love),” “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Good Morning,” “Moses Supposes,” and of course, “Singin’ in the Rain,” ensuring everyone has “glorious feelings” and feels “happy again” by the end of the evening. Taking place Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, this Pops performance is ideal for children and families of every generation. Tickets for the concert are $25-$185. For more information, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.
Patrons also have the rare opportunity to join Gene Kelly’s wife, Patricia Ward Kelly, and Maestro Kaufman for a post-concert conversation. In addition to discussing the film, the musical score and Gene Kelly’s feelings for the movie, audience members are invited to ask Mrs. Kelly and Kaufman specific questions.
“I love the opportunity of presenting an entire score live with film,” says Kaufman. “It’s certainly a challenge to recreate the original score in a live performance, both artistically and in terms of synchronization. It keeps everyone on their toes. But most importantly, it gives the audience both a visual and audible experience that is unique and exciting. The film comes alive in a way that makes it feel brand new.”
“Singin’ in the Rain” has become a staple of classic American film. However, directly after the movie’s release, it only received modest success: Donald O’Conner won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor and screenwriting duo Betty Comden and Adolph Green were recognized by the Writers Guild of America for Best Written Musical. The movie’s release came shortly after World War II and the Great Depression, so moviegoers longed for big production numbers and fantasy entertainment. While “Singin’ in the Rain” explores a tale of unforeseen love and bitter jealousy, it was a story that some considered too tangible and didn’t offer enough of an escape from the real world.
The movie tells the story of silent-film actors Don Lockwood (Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Hagen): an unbeatable on-screen team. That is, until they are cast together in an upcoming “talkie” and Lina has trouble with her diction coach. When Kathy Selden (Reynolds), an aspiring actress, is brought in to dub vocals for a struggling Lina, she is overcome with jealously, especially because she mistakes Don and her on-screen love affair for real romance. Lina suddenly finds herself fighting for not just the production company’s attention, but Don’s as well.
“It’s easy to understand why people feel that ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ is one of the greatest film musicals,” says Kaufman. “Legendary performers, memorable songs and a wonderful story—it’s MGM at its best. And, Gene Kelly’s performance is truly the center of everything that makes the film so remarkable. Combine the talents of Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds with Gene Kelly, and the combination makes ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ a classic in every way.”
No stranger to motion pictures himself, Maestro Kaufman is a 27-year veteran of the industry, having joined MGM studios as music coordinator in 1984 and subsequently overseeing all television projects. While with MGM, he received two Emmy Award nominations, one as music director for the animated series “The Pink Panther” and another as co-author of outstanding original song for the series “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” As a session violinist, Kaufman has performed on numerous film and television scores, including “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “Animal House.” In addition to his 22 years as principal pops conductor with Pacific Symphony, Kaufman also regularly performs classic and contemporary film music as guest conductor with orchestras across the country.
The screening of “Singin’ in the Rain” is shown courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. The Symphony’s Pops series receives additional support from American Airlines, The Westin South Coast Plaza, K-Earth 101 and PBS SoCal.
The Symphony concludes its Pop series season June 13-15 with “The Midtown Men,” featuring four stars from the original cast of “Jersey Boys,” singing top hits from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Jackson 5 and many more.
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