14. May 2009 · Comments Off on Musicals & Symphony Silicon Valley · Categories: News, Ramble, Symphony

Symphony Silicon Valley is launching a new musical theater series celebrating the classic American musical canon. In the wake of the closing of the American Musical Theatre of San Jose last year, the symphony is stepping into the breach with its “Broadway in Concert” series.

The inaugural lineup, set to launch in October, will showcase three beloved titles: Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate,” Meredith Willson’s “Music Man” and George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”

“We want to put the musicals of another era up there on the California stage,” says Andrew Bales, executive director of Symphony Silicon Valley, “the music from the golden age of musicals.”

The opulently restored 1,100-seat California Theatre, a 1927 Jazz Age jewel, seems an ideal home for brand-name Americana. Subscriptions and single tickets for the series, a surefire way to make classical music more accessible, go on sale today.

“People think of classical music as staid, just one step above church, something that they ought to do but they don’t expect to enjoy,” Bales says. “We want to be entertaining, and nothing is more purely entertaining than musicals.”

I highly suspect Andrew doesn’t attend church. 😉

Aside from Porgy & Bess, these won’t involve me; Music Man and Kiss Me Kate are doubling books, and in any case only have one oboe/EH. First call would (and should) go to our principal oboist. But I’m still glad that we are adding these in. Maybe I’ll at least go and hear them.

My dream would be to have a summer series, done by Opera San José, of Sondheim and, maybe, Guettel or other, of a similar ilk, musical theatre composers. But I know that isn’t gonna happen. (Still, I can dream, right?)

Between this SSV news and the ballet adding more work, a lot of musicians are going to be able to take more work on next year, which is good. (There’s been no mention, yet, of the symphony musicians agreeing to a pay cut where ballet is concerned. I hope that that eventually gets acknowledged.)

Comments closed.