Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Press Release

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Performs Tribute to Music of Marvin Hamlisch

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Pops presents One Singular Sensation: A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch on February 14

By - Feb 2nd, 2015 03:01 pm

MILWAUKEE, WIS. 02/02/2015 – The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Pops presents One Singular Sensation: A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch on February 14, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The performance celebrates four decades of his magnificent contributions to music. Hamlisch, who wrote timeless music for both Broadway and film, won three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, three Golden Globes, and a Tony in his lifetime. The concert features conductor Larry Blank with vocalists Donna McKechnie, Jodi Benson, and Doug LaBrecque.

Also performing is Milwaukee High School of the Arts Concert Chorale directed by Raymond Roberts. In 2011, Marvin Hamlisch conducted a residency at MHSA, where he led a musical theater master class, gave a workshop and rehearsal with the MHSA orchestra, and guest conducted the MHSA Symphony Orchestra in a performance of one of his pieces.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Larry Blank is one of the most prolific and sought after composers, conductors, and orchestrators in the entertainment business today. His work has been presented all over the world, including some of Broadway’s most successful musicals, Carnegie Hall, and top television and film projects. He was the music director, conductor, and/or vocal arranger for many shows on Broadway and in Los Angeles, including They’re Playing Our Song, Evita, Sugar Babies, La Cage Aux Folles, Phantom of the Opera, Onward Victoria, Copperfield, Colette, A Chorus Line, and A Little Night Music. He has been nominated three times for both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for his orchestrations in The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and with Marc Shaiman for Catch Me If You Can. He received a Drama Desk nomination for orchestration for A Christmas Story. Mr. Blank has guest conducted many of the orchestras throughout the world, including the San Francisco, Auckland, Calgary, New Orleans, and Toronto symphonies; the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; Palm Beach and Boston pops; and Western Australia, National, and Chicago symphony orchestras. He has been named resident pops conductor along with regular pops conductor Michael Feinstein for the Pasadena Symphony and Pops.

Donna McKechnie, the Tony Award-winning star of A Chorus Line, is regarded internationally as one of Broadway’s foremost dancing and singing leading ladies. McKechnie’s Broadway credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Promises-Promises, CompanyOn The Town, and State Fair. She has also starred in such classic musicals as Sweet Charity, A Little Night MusicMack and MabelGypsyFollies, and Annie Get Your Gun. McKechnie has also performed extensively on the concert stage, in cabaret, and with symphony orchestras. McKechnie’s latest one woman show, My Musical Comedy Life, directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, is an autobiographical musical celebration of song, dance, and storytelling, with music by some of Broadway’s most celebrated composers, including Stephen Sondheim, Marvin Hamlisch, Cy Coleman, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as more contemporary composers, like Ann Hampton Callaway.

Jodi Benson is honored to have been inducted as a Disney Legend after serving the company for 25 years. Jodi has received critical acclaim as the voice of Ariel in the Academy Award-winning Walt Disney animated feature film The Little Mermaid as well as the voice of Tour Guide Barbie in Disney’s Toy Story II, winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture. Jodi’s film projects include The Little Mermaid IIIThe Little Mermaid II: Return to the SeaLady and The Tramp II as Lady, and 101 Dalmatians II as Anita. Ms. Benson received a Tony Award and a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for the role of Polly in Crazy for You. On the concert stage, Ms. Benson appeared as the soloist at the Kennedy Center Honors for Ginger Rogers. She performed at the Hollywood Bowl with conductor John Mauceri on several occasions including tributes to Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Gershwin brothers, and Walt Disney. Jodi has performed with symphonies all over the world including the Philly Pops, Tokyo Philharmonic, and the National, Cleveland, Dallas, San Francisco, and Chicago symphonies. Jodi gives thanks and praise to God for her family, friends, for her loving husband Ray, and her precious children: son McKinley and daughter Delaney.

Doug LaBrecque thrilled theatre audiences as the Phantom and Raoul in the Harold Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera. In addition, Mr. LaBrecque has starred on Broadway as Ravenal in the Hal Prince revival of Showboat, a role he also performed in Canada and Chicago. He was featured in Oscar Hammerstein’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Broadway at The Gershwin Theatre, and toured nationally with Les Misérables. Regionally, Mr. LaBrecque has performed leading roles in Candide, A Chorus Line, and Man of La Mancha among many others. A graduate of University of Michigan, he was also featured in the world premiere of A Wonderful Life, written by Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposo, and starred in the premiere revival of Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner’s Love Life. In a tribute to Richard Rodgers, Mr. LaBrecque recently made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with the New York Pops, the same season he debuted with The Boston Pops. Other special engagements have included singing with Carole Bayer-Sager at Feinstein’s in Manhattan and the Cinegrill in Los Angeles, performing alongside Broadway legend Jerry Herman with the Naples Philharmonic, and appearing onstage with Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch at Hickory Hill, the legendary home of Ethel Kennedy.


ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE
One Singular Sensation: A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch
Larry Blank, conductor | Donna McKechnie, vocalist | Jodi Benson, vocalist | Doug LaBrecque, vocalist
Milwaukee High School of the Arts Concert Chorale, Raymond Roberts, director

Saturday, February 14 | 8:00 p.m.
Uihlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets range from $25 to $85. For more information, please call 414.291.7605 or visit mso.org. Tickets may also be purchased through the Marcus Center Box Office at 414.273.7206.


ABOUT THE MSO

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Edo de Waart, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Now in his sixth season with the MSO, Maestro de Waart has led sold-out concerts, elicited critical acclaim, and conducted a celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2012. The MSO’s full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee.

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