Carnegie Hall presents The New York Pops "Christmas Time in the City"
By: Linda Amiel Burns
THE NEW YORK POPS CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAY SEASON AT CARNEGIE HALL WITH A GLORIOUS EVENING OF MUSIC, SONG AND SURPRISE FROM THE NORTH POLE!
What could be more glorious during the holiday season than listening to The New York Pops led by Steven Reineke, Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA, vocalists Stephanie J. Block and Brian d’Arcy James performing Christmas songs at the beautiful Carnegie Hall?
On December 18, 2015, The New York Pops presented "It’s Christmas Time In The City" beginning with a brilliant rendition of "Deck The Halls" that set the tone for the lovely evening ahead, and then rockin’ out with "Jingle Bell Rock" later on in the program.
Stephanie J. Block, who has starred in many Broadway shows, including Wicked, The Pirate Queen, Boy from Oz, displayed her vocal talents on "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and a great Ella Fitzgerald arrangement of "Winter Wonderland." She shared with the audience that she fell in love during the holiday season, got married, and now has a 10-month-old little girl! She also scored with the tender "I’ll Be Home For Christmas" and "Yes, Virginia (there is a Santa Claus)."
The golden voiced Brian d’Arcy James, now starring in Something Rotten on Broadway, sang Mel Torme’s "The Christmas Song," a lively version of "Jingle Bells" and a song he wrote to honor his hometown of Saginaw, called "Michigan Christmas." Stephanie and Brian dueted on "Let It Snow," and Frank Loesser’s fun "Baby, It’s Cold Outside."
In a thrilling evening of music and song, one of the highlights was "The Little Drummer Boy" played in the style of Ravel, called "The Little Bolero Boy." Also, there were moments that I just closed my eyes to hear the full sound of The NY Pops with Essential Voices USA perform John Williams "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas" from Home Alone 2 and the French carol, "Angels We Have Heard on High."
As the evening wound down, the audience was pleased to see Santa Claus and one of his elves running up and down the aisles, finally getting up on stage to wish us all a Merry Christmas. This was followed by the inspiring finale, a sing-a-long of many of the traditional holiday songs and ending with "Silent Night."
In the Program notes, Steven Reineke says that the true spirit of the season is felt in "people passing, meeting smile after smile" and thanks to everyone involved with putting on this sold out Christmas Concert, the audience left with many smiles and a feeling of good cheer!
Photography: Maryann Lopinto
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