Girls p. 20
Symphony Summer Pops From Braxton to Bacharach, it’s an explosive season
By Jeff Britton SDUN Reporter
Few events herald the advent of summer in San Diego with more panache than the San Diego Symphony’s Summer Pops series. This year’s sponsor is Bridgepoint Education, an online university whose headquarters are in San Diego. Situated on a pleasant promontory at the
Embarcadero Marina Park, just behind the Convention Center, the series’ location offers a place to sip champagne, enjoy a catered meal or a snack and watch the boats glide by to Coronado. Every weekend for 10 weeks, including select Thursday nights, the San Diego Pops features an intriguing variety of guest stars who, like most San Diegans, are happy to revel in the extraordinary San Diego climate. All Friday and Saturday concerts conclude with a festive fireworks display, as well as Sunday concerts for the July Fourth and Labor Day weekends.
As principal summer pops conductor Matthew Garbutt points out, few cities have the dependable weather San Diego enjoys to be able to schedule a full outdoor series.
“No mosquitoes, muggy weather or thunderstorms,” he boasted.
Garbutt is jazzed, so to speak, about the variety and caliber of concerts on offer, starting with the “Tux ’n Tennies” opener June 26 that features pop star Toni Braxton. The orchestra sets the season’s informal spirit wearing tuxedos and tennis shoes. He also cites principal winter pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch’s “Star
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Volume 2, Issue 13 • June 25-July 8, 2010 • San Diego Uptown News
Spangled Pops” concerts during the July 4 weekend as particularly apropos, given San Diego’s large military presence.
On the lighter side, concerts range from country sensation Leann Rimes, to the return of Kool & the Gang and a rock symphony featuring the music of Queen. Interspersed are Tiempo Libre with its Cuban salsa sounds – sure to get the crowd moving – and a concert by Viva Mariachi featuring those irresistible Mexican rhythms. Both concerts open with light classics by the symphony. To attract all those in town for the Comic-Con convention, there is “Distant Worlds: Music from the Final Fantasy” on July 22, celebrating the 20th anniversary of that popular video game. Garbutt also hailed Jodi Benson’s Aug. 20 and 21 concerts.
(Photos courtesy San Diego Symphony)
“She is the voice of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and will sing hits like ‘Part of Your World,’ ‘Colors of the Wind’ from the film ‘Pocahontas’ and the enduring ‘Over The Rainbow,’” he said. “We are gearing this to be a very family-friendly concert with the orchestra opening with a medley of film scores including ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and ‘Indiana Jones.’” Popular Broadway crooner Michael Feinstein, who
performed during the winter pops series last season, will make his summer debut with the music of Frank Sinatra on Aug. 27 and 28. And Burt Bacharach, whose protégé Dionne Warwick graced the stage last summer, will bring his many hits on Aug. 8 in a program titled “The Look of Love.”
Motown nostalgia buffs will recall last season’s concert by Spectrum, assaying the hits of the Temptations, Four Tops and other guy groups. On July 30 and 31, girl groups such as the Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas will get the same treatment by Radiance, a group Garbutt claims almost sounds better than the originals. Broadway fans won’t want to miss the dashing Hugh Panaro in “Bravo Broadway Rocks” on Aug. 6 and 7, a reprise of a popular show last summer, and “Mamma Mia” comes to life July 16 and 17 in “Abbamania,” a salute to the Swedish pop sensation, just in time for San Diego Pride weekend.
Last summer, the
symphony did a tribute to the light classical music of Italy, and on Aug. 22 they will do the same for France in “A Night in France.” Be sure to order some petit fours and a bottle of bubbly! Marking the 40th
anniversary celebration of ’50s pop group Sha Na Na on July 29, time travelers can recall their classic versions of such hits as “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and “Rock Around The Clock.” The series comes to an amiable conclusion with its “1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular” on Labor Day weekend. In addition to the
Embarcadero series, the symphony will give several special concerts, including Frank Sinatra Jr. on the Midway ship Sept. 2;
see Summer, page 18
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