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Pops' season still carries Marvin's mark

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Brian Stokes Mitchell Credit: Pittsburgh Symphony
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Ann Hampton Callaway
Pittsburgh Symphony
Megan Hilty
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, as performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic. Credit: Malaysian Philharmonic

Marcie Solomon believes the seven programs of the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops 2013-14 season would have pleased Marvin Hamlisch.

“Next season, we have a focus on Broadway standards and repertoire that will show off the orchestra. We are excited to bring some big names to the Pops at Heinz Hall, such as the debuts of Brian Stokes Mitchell, who worked with us in Philadelphia in 2011, and Megan Hilty, who's starring on ‘Smash' and once upon a time starred opposite Fiddlesticks,” says Solomon, the symphony's general manager and vice president of orchestra operations.

She adds that while Hamlisch is irreplaceable, the season was planned with his aesthetic in mind. “Our audience, when coming to see the Pops, expects an evening of entertainment, as Marvin put it together, as a whole package.”

Pops concerts start at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays at Heinz Hall, Downtown. The season programs are:

Oct. 17 to 20, “Broadway and Beyond”: Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell sings favorites from Broadway musicals “Ragtime,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “South Pacific” and “Funny Girl, with Ted Sperling conducting.

Nov. 14 to 17, “The Streisand Songbook”: Ann Hampton Callaway performs songs that her role model and later mentor rode to fame, with Fawzi Haimor conducting.

Dec. 12 to 15, “Highmark Holiday Pops”: Conductor Todd Ellison, who often worked with Hamlisch, will be joined by guest soloists and the Mendelssohn Choir for favorite Christmas music, including a sing-along.

Jan. 23 to 26, 2014, “Music of John Williams”: Resident conductor Lawrence Loh leads a program that showcases the orchestra playing music from “E.T.,” “Harry Potter,” “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” and other films, plus some of Williams' new score for “Lincoln.”

March 6 to 9: “All that Jazz”: This salute to the ultra-successful team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, who wrote “Chicago” and “Cabaret,” will be lead by Jack Everly.

April 20 to 13: “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony”: The iconic Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon characters will be accompanied by conductor George Daugherty and the orchestra. The projected visuals will include three 3-D theatrical shorts.

June 19 to 22: “Luck Be a Lady”: Megan Hilty, star of the NBC television show “Smash,” pays tribute to Frank Sinatra, with Steven Reineke conducting.

A subscription to the seven-concert Pops series is $122.50 to $659.75, depending on the location of the seat. Single tickets will go on sale around Labor Day.

Details: 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-420-7877 or mkanny@tribweb.com.

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