The New York Pops 25th Birthday Gala - themed "Play To Win!" - included performances of Broadway favorites, contemporary classics, and international hits by the stars appearing with The New York Pops in support of the orchestra and its education programs. The event took place on April 28th, 2008 at 7PM at Carnegie Hall. A dinner dance followed at The Pierre
Steven Reineke conducted the orchestra and student musicians from The New York Pops' Salute to Music education program and children in the orchestra's music education program at The Ronald McDonald House of New York City in arrangements of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions."
Celebrating Disney's warm and prosperous 14-year relationship with the Nederlander Producing Company of America, the leading ladies of the three current Disney productions on Broadway, Ashley Brown (title character in Mary Poppins), Sierra Boggess (Ariel in The Little Mermaid), and Kissy Simmons (Nala in The Lion King) performed a selection of Disney classics especially arranged for this performance.
Tony-nominated musician Michael Cavanaugh played and sung "Movin' Out," the title song from the Broadway musical featuring the songs of Billy Joel. Sardinian singer-songwriter Nicola Congiu made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Italian song "Amor mio." Charlotte d'Amboise, recently nominated for a Tony for her starring role in A Chorus Line, sung "If My Friends Could See Me Now" from Sweet Charity.
Currently starring on Broadway in the Kander & Ebb musical Curtains, Jason Danieley sung Jerry Herman's "I Am What I Am" from La Cage aux Folles. With three decades on Broadway and four Tony Award nominations to his credit, Gregg Edelman joins The New York Pops and peformed. "Molasses to Rum" from 1776. Larry Gatlin returns to Carnegie Hall after five years with the Grammy-winning Gatlin Brothers and performed their hits "Houston" and "Boogie and Beethoven." Recognized as the voice of Pocahontas in Disney's 1995 animated film, Judy Kuhn recently starred as Fantine in Les Misérables on Broadway. She sung "Ice Cream" from She Loves Me.
Karen Mason delivered the evening's theme song, the Michael Feinstein/William Schermerhorn-penned "Play to Win." Currently starring in Curtains, for which she received a Tony nomination, Debra Monk performed "Everybody's Girl" from Steel Pier. Kelli O'Hara, the star of Lincoln Center Theater's revival of South Pacific, opened the concert with Cole Porter's classic ode to city living, "I Happen To Like New York." After winning the role of "Sandy" in the televised competition Grease: You're the One That I Want, Laura Osnes will perform "Hopelessly Devoted to You" from Grease.
The New York Pops also hosted an online auction from April 24 through May 9 to benefit the orchestra and its education programs. The online auction included over twenty-five prizes, from insider-only experiences in New York City to exotic vacation packages around the world. .
The New York Pops is supported by Macy's, Delta Air Lines, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, UJA , Federation of New York's Music For Youth, New York State Council on the Arts, The New York Observer, and New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.
The chairs of the event are Joan Steinbrenner, Charlene S. Nederlander Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal and Margo MacNabb. For more information please visit www.nypops.org.
Photos Courtesy of Rob Rich (www.societyallure.com)
The Fosse Girls
James M. Nederlander and James Nederlander
Kissy Simmons, James Nederlander, Ashley Brown and Sierra Boggess
Liz Smith, Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, James Nederlander, Haley Swindal and Ruth Henderson
Ruth Henderson, James Nederlander, Haley Swindal, Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal and Performers from the Gala
James Nederlander and James M. Neederlander
Patron, Margo McNabb, James Nederlander, James M. Nederlander and Charlene S. Nederlander
Kathleen Turner, James Nederlander and Tony Bennett
Cathy Rigby and James M. Nederlander
Rick Friedberg, Tony Bennett, Susan Crow and Francine LeFrak