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Smashing Broadway! Megan Hilty and Brian Stokes Mitchell Visit Pacific Symphony Pops for Night Of Broadway Hits and Timeless Standards
Orange County, Calif. — March 30, 2017
It’s Broadway baby! Pacific Symphony Pops brings two award-winning Broadway superstars—Megan Hilty and Brian Stokes Mitchell—together on one stage to deliver an evening of unforgettable music from the Great White Way. With stunning voices and booming careers on Broadway, television and concert stages, Hilty and Mitchell join the 88-piece orchestra to bring fresh insight to a program of Broadway hits and memorable melodies that have become timeless standards, including music from Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. Hilty dazzles with songs such as Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “They Just Keep Moving the Line” from the NBC-TV series “Smash” and “The Rainbow Connection” from her album “Live at the Cafe Carlyle.” Then, Mitchell takes the stage with masterpieces such as “Stars” from “Les Misérables,” “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from “Porgy and Bess,” and the ultimate lounge tune, “Feeling Good.”
Led by guest conductor Albert-George Schram on April 21-22, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the concert opens with a short program of light classical music and Broadway tunes. Tickets are $35-$167 ($195 Box Circle). For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.
“The musicians of Pacific Symphony are so outstanding that I wanted to show off the orchestra with a few virtuosic pieces that the audience maybe hasn’t heard for a while,” says Maestro Schram in describing his orchestral choices for the first half of the program, “Tchaikovsky’s ‘Slavic March’ and Verdi’s Overture to ‘La Forza del Destino’ offer exciting music that the orchestra will enjoy playing and that people will love hearing. Cole Porter’s ‘Begin the Beguine’ and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Jellicle Ball’ from ‘Cats’ are both Broadway classics that will complement our star performers. And ‘Tico Tico No Fuba’ is just plain fun. Overall, I just want everyone to have a good time!”
He adds, “Megan Hilty and Brian Stokes Mitchell are both world-class artists, and I’m looking forward to working with them. With Broadway, there is already so much beautiful music written for orchestra, so our arrangements will be top notch.”
In high demand, together Hilty and Mitchell headlined two major events this past fall—the Los Angeles Philharmonic Opening Night and the Grand Opening of the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City—of which The Salt Lake City Tribune wrote “Mitchell was the ultimate showman, commanding the stage with his roof-rattling renditions of Broadway favorites.” Also dubbed “the last leading man” by The New York Times, Mitchell has received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his star turn in “Kiss Me, Kate.” He also gave Tony-nominated performances in “Man of La Mancha,” “Ragtime” and August Wilson’s “King Hedley II.” Other notable Broadway shows include “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Jelly’s Last Jam” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
An extremely versatile and in-demand singer, Mitchell has performed at venues spanning jazz, opera, pops, country and musical theater worlds. He has worked with John Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, Keith Lockhart, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Big Band, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Muppets. Mitchell has made multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall beginning with his debut with the San Francisco Symphony through his televised performance in “South Pacific” opposite Reba McEntire to his sold-out solo concert, which he continues to perform throughout the U.S. He has been invited twice to perform at the White House and has performed for Presidents Clinton and Obama.
His latest recording, “Simply Broadway,” reimagines classic tunes but retains the spirit of the originals, and includes songs from “Camelot,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Company” and “Les Misérables.” His extensive screen credits began with a seven-year stint on “Trapper John, MD” and have continued with memorable appearances on everything from PBS’ “Great Performances” to “Frasier,” “Glee,” “Jumping the Broom” and his most recent recurring roles on “Madam Secretary,” “Mr. Robot” and the Hulu series, “The Path.”
“I’m most looking forward to watching the audience’s reaction to the music,” says Schram. “Whether they have heard the pieces before or not, they will get a real aural, visceral thrill. I know from my experience from the way this orchestra performs, that it will be a thrilling and exciting night for everyone.”
Hilty has been a star since her stunning 2004 Broadway debut opposite Idina Menzel in “Wicked,” as Glinda, led to her move to Los Angeles for the 2007-09 Pantages production and her prompt foray into television. In 2012, she joined the cast of the NBC series “Smash,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe for Outstanding Musical or Comedy Series. In 2013, she joined the cast of NBC’s “Sean Saves the World,” and has recently guest-starred on “Project Runway,” “Difficult People,” “Brain Dead” and “The Good Wife.”
During her hiatus between the first and second seasons of “Smash,” Hilty played “Lorelei Lee” in the New York City Center production of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” Ben Brantley of The New York Times called the opening performance “one of those single, golden nights, so cherished by theatergoers that thrust its leading lady into the firmament of musical stardom.” Her 2009 role as Doralee in “9 to 5: The Musical,” Dolly Parton’s adaptation of the popular film, gained her nominations for Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Ovation awards. In 2015, she starred in a one-night-only performance of “Bombshell” and a two-night presentation of “Annie Get Your Gun” at New York City Center. She also returned to the Broadway stage as Brooke Ashton in “Noises Off.” For her performance, she received a 2016 Tony Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, as well as Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations.
Hilty has released three solo albums, “It Happens All the Time,” “Megan Hilty Live at the Café Carlyle” and “A Merry Little Christmas.” She maintains an active concert schedule, both with symphony orchestras throughout the United States and in solo concert at smaller venues.
Pacific Symphony’s Pops series is made possible through generous support from The Westin South Coast Plaza, PBS SoCal and K-EARTH.
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