NSO Pops: Some Enchanted Evening: The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein at The Kennedy Center


A Grand Night of Singing

The National Symphony launches their 81st season, and their first with conductor Steven Reineke, with the glorious Some Enchanted Evening: the Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, featuring three terrific vocalists: Rebecca Luker, Aaron Lazar and Rod Gilfry, along with the melodious Washington Chorus.

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Rodgers and Hammerstein produced many of the most beautiful songs ever written for the Broadway stage, and to hear some of them performed by this amazing sounding orchestra and such a talented group of singers  – was musical theater heaven. The evening was comprised of selections from Rogers and Hammerstein’s five most beloved musicals (presented chronologically): Oklahoma!, Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, and The Sound of Music. The orchestra also played a waltz from the Rogers and Hammerstein television musical, Cinderella.

Rebecca Luker

Ms. Luker, who performed in The Sound of Music on Broadway, sounded lovely on the title song of that show as well as other selections such as “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” from Carousel, “A Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific, dedicated to husband Danny Burstein (who played Luther is the recent acclaimed revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center) and “We Kiss in the Shadow” from The King and I.  Luker looked luminous in both purple and silver gowns.

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Mr. Gilfry, who recently starred in 225 performances of South Pacific, enchanted the audience with his smooth, sultry baritone voice on selections such as “Some Enchanting Evening” from South Pacific, “The Surrey With the Fringe on Top” from Oklahoma!, and “Soliloquy” from Carousel. Gilfry shared some sweet stories about playing in both South Pacific and The Sound of Music, amusedly getting the two shows mixed up at one point.

Aaron Lazar

Mr. Lazar, also a Broadway veteran, shined on “If I Loved You” from Carousel, and “Younger the Springtime” from South Pacific.

The Washington Chorus were featured on some highly entertaining ensemble numbers from the Rodgers and Hammerstein catalog such as “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame” from South Pacific, “I Whistle a Happy Tune” from The King and I,  and the evening’s rousing encore, “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music.

All of these delightful songs were written to be heard with a full orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra sounded as great as ever – showcasing Richard Rodger’s fine orchestrations with flair. What a treat to hear this amazing collection of songs played so well with lush strings, uplifting woodwinds, and booming brass and percussion. Lighting was used to great effect to enhance the concert atmosphere.

Do not miss this enchanting evening!

Running time: 2 hours, including a 15 minute intermission.

Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke

NSO Pops: Some Enchanted Evening: The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein, plays through October 15, 2011, in The Concert Hall at The Kennedy Center – 2700 F Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call the box office (800) 444-1324 or (202) 467-4600, or order tickets online.

Tonight, Friday, October 14th, Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke will be greeting audience members at ‘Meet Me at the Millennium Stage’ – a post-performance concert after the 8 PM performance.

Have a glass of vino and schmooze with the Maestro.