Rochester, NY – You don’t have to be a “baby boomer” to be able to sing the theme song from I Love Lucy or The Donna Reed Show. Thanks to eternal television reruns, those classic tunes now are familiar to many generations. A multi-generational audience will get a good dose of the “Golden Age of Television” with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m. at the Eastman Theatre.
Arranger and guest conductor Jack Everly brings back the musical themes of 1950s game shows, hit tv shows, commercials, radio hits, trends, crazes and more with musical theater soloists Karen Murphy and Sara Kramer. Additional vocal assistance will be provided by the guest vocal group Chapter 6 and the RPO’s own rhythm section: John Nyerges, piano; Dave Mancini, drums; and Jeff Campbell, bass.
The show transports audiences back into the 1950s with the classic arrangements of hits including: Four by Six: Hits of the Decade, At Home with Mrs. Murphy, How Did He Look / Cry Me a River, I Love Lucy, Unchained Melody, Rock Around the Pops, Jump Jive and Wail, Game Show!, The Golden Age of Black and White, theme from A Summer Place, and the Elvis Medley.
Jack Everly is currently the principal pops conductor of the Baltimore, Indianapolis, and National Arts Centre Symphony Orchestras as well as Music Director of the Symphonic Pops Consortium, which was responsible for the creation of this 1950s show. Lead vocalist Karen Murphy is an accomplished veteran of the stage, performing lead roles in such Broadway musicals as 42nd Street and Les Miserables, and has been widely recognized for her solo club act Torch Goddess. Sara Kramer made her Broadway debut as Sophie in Mamma Mia! and has performed this 1950s program with Jack Everly and many other orchestras throughout the country. Chapter 6 is a unique vocal group which has received numerous awards for its harmonic technique and original arrangements.
Tickets for these performances are $20-$56, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, as well as at any Wegmans locations. RPO Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). Wegmans is open seven days a week. A convenience fee may apply. The WPOP Series is sponsored by Wegmans.
Now in its 84th season, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music. The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community. The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award, and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.
RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County; the City of Rochester; and American Airlines, the official airline of the RPO.
Note: Numerous digital color photos are available as are interviews with the principal performers.