Suppose you wanted to put together a musical program that pays tribute to America's greatest pop-orchestral traditions. You might start by having one of the nation's premiere orchestral ensembles play a program written by an American popular music legend. If you wanted to make it extra special, a good way to go would be to enlist a musical theater legend to sing the tunes.
That can't-lose formula is followed to the letter by By George! The Boston Pops Plays Gershwin, a program that has the revered orchestra playing many of its own arrangements of George Gershwin's most beloved compositions. The program kicks off with a brand new arrangement of the overture from Nice Work If You Can Get It, and then it moves through the pillars of Gershwin's career, including An American in Paris and "Rhapsody in Blue."
The aim of the program is to explore the stylistic evolution of the iconic American composer, as his work transformed from traditional standards like "Swanee" to his grand orchestral concert pieces and eventually to his showy Broadway work.
The Pops will perform the Gershwin program in seven cities throughout the Midwest this spring, but only two of the dates - in Chicago on March 31 and in Van Wert on April 1 - will feature the vocal contributions of Tony-winning actress Bernadette Peters. Peters' renditions of Gershwin standards like "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" and "S'Wonderful" will bring just the right level of jazzy sophistication to the black-tie-optional gala in celebration of the Niswonger's 10th anniversary.bernad