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Under the baton of Associate Conductor David Glover, the North Carolina Symphony continued their Summerfest series at the Booth Amphitheatre by welcoming several national vocal talents to "Broadway at the Booth." Amy Decker, Daniella Dalli, Alex Dreier, Nick Cartell, Celia Hottenstein, and Lisa Jolley all joined the NCS with accolades from their various US tours and Broadway productions of such shows as The Sound of Music, Finding Neverland, and Phantom of the Opera. Just weeks after the 2016 Tony Awards, Friday's performance was well-timed and selected, featuring music from nominated shows The King and I and She Loves Me.
The program began with Jolley joining the symphony with a number from Frank Loesser's Most Happy Fella and Dames at Sea, featuring only the piano accompanying her for "Raining in My Heart." Taking a brief liberty with the lyrics, all in good fun, Jolley succeeded in wishing away the impending threat of rain and the weather held out for a beautiful, if warm, evening under the stars (and clouds). NCS continued with a musical number from Lerner and Loewe's Gigi before taking a turn for the familiar to close out the first half of the program. Decker and Dalli took the stage for two numbers from The King and I, Tony Award nominee for Best Revival of a Musical. Soft strings and woodwinds swelled beneath Decker in "Hello Young Lovers" and again with Dalli in "Something Wonderful." The orchestra concluded the first act with a robust and familiar medley of songs from Bock and Harnick's Fiddler on the Roof, including "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "Tradition," and of course, "If I were a Rich Man."
The second half of the performance re-introduced Jolley on a variety of musical selections. Though she may have been less comfortable with the lower range of Sondheim and Styne's "Some People" from Gypsy, Jolley seemed right at home with the comically dramatic tune "Vanilla Ice Cream," from the Tony-nominated She Loves Me.
The program gained significant momentum with an iconic medley from the longest running Broadway musical, The Phantom of the Opera, to a standing ovation mid-program from the audience. Selections from Finding Neverland introduced the two gentlemen vocalists, young Dreier and Cartell in their duet of "When Your Feet Don't Touch the Ground," as well as Hottenstein in "All that Matters." Maestro Glover announced that both of these selections were performed with special permission and subsequently debuted the arrangements for the orchestra Off-Broadway. The evening culminated with another ever-familiar medley from the early rock 'n roll musical Grease. NCS sent the audience off in the warm summer night toe-tapping to the melodies of "Greased Lightning," "We Go Together," and most fittingly "Summer Nights."
The North Carolina Symphony continues their outdoor performances next weekend with a celebration of patriotism in their Independence Day program. See our calendar for more information.