Buffalo, NY — Date: Sat 11/09/13 8:00pm (BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Pops Series)
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Matthew Kraemer, conductor
Jodi Benson, Vocalist
Donna McKechnie, Vocalist
Doug LaBrecque, Vocalist
Marvin Hamlisch, They’re playing your songs!
Remember The Way We Were with this tribute to former BPO pops conductor and composer Marvin Hamlisch, featuring his hits from the stage and silver screen. Vocalists Jodi Benson, Donna McKechnie, and Doug LaBrecque performed with Hamlisch during his lifetime and pay tribute to his legacy.
Jodi Benson: Jodi Marie Benson (née Marzorati; October 10, 1961) is an American actress, voice actress, and soprano singer. She is best known for providing both the speaking and the singing voice of Disney’s Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid and its sequels.Benson’s Broadway credits include a role in the short-lived Broadway musical Smile, where she introduced a song called “Disneyland”. Howard Ashman, the lyricist of Smile, would go on to write the lyrics for The Little Mermaid. In 1992, Benson received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Polly Baker in Crazy For You. She played the narrator in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1998.
Donna McKechnie: Donna McKechnie (born November 16, 1940) is
an American musical theater dancer, singer, actress and choreographer. She is known for her professional and personal relationship with choreographer Michael Bennett, with whom she collaborated on her most noted role, “Cassie” from the musical A Chorus Line, for which she earned the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1976. In 1970 Bennett showcased McKechnie again in Stephen Sondheim’s Company (1970), where she danced Tick-Tock. After leaving the Broadway cast, she reprised her role in the Los Angeles and London companies, and also toured in the 1971 revival of On the Town (as Ivy). In March 1973, she choreographed and performed in the highly acclaimed one-night-only concert Sondheim: A Musical Tribute at the Shubert Theatre in New York. In 1974, she co-starred with Richard Kiley and Bob Fosse in the unsuccessful musical film version of the classic The Little Prince. McKechnie was part of Bennett’s group therapy-style workshops that evolved into the Broadway smash A Chorus Line, in which she portrayed Cassie, a character based in great part on herself. She danced her third famous Bennett-McKechnie number, The Music and the Mirror, in which the vocal sections were tailored to her unusually large range. Initially, Donna was to perform the number with four of her male co-stars but after four previews before opening, McKechnie voiced concern about dancing around the four guys and at the last moment, Bennett changed the direction to have McKechnie perform the song-dance number alone. Her performance earned her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The role of Maggie was also based on her life.
Doug LaBrecque: Doug LaBrecque thrilled theater audiences as The Phantom and Raoul in the Harold Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera. In addition, Mr. LaBrecque has starred on Broadway as Ravenal in the Hal Prince revival of Showboat, a role he also performed in Canada and Chicago. He was featured in Oscar Hammerstein’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Broadway at The Gershwin Theatre, and toured nationally with Les Miserables. Regionally, Mr. LaBrecque has performed leading roles in Candide, A Chorus Line, Man of LaMancha among others.