Monday, March 21, 2016

review - THE GERSHWIN EXPERIENCE: HERE TO STAY

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

 "The Gershwin Experience: Here to Stay is a concert that has been making the rounds of symphony orchestras across the country over the past few years. Featuring some of George Gershwin's greatest works, the evening also includes archival photos, images, and home video from the Gershwin estate projected over the stage that add further dimension to the music in this celebration of the legacy and genius of George and his brother Ira. The recent Phoenix Symphony Orchestra presentation was full of rich, distinctive playing. Under the guidance of conductor Dirk Meyer, who was making his premiere appearance with the Symphony—and what a distinctive and impressive premiere it was—the PSO sounded exceptional. The highlight of the evening was their superb performance of George Gershwin's "An American in Paris." ...Guest vocalists included Lisa Vroman and Rick Faugno...While Vroman's legit, operatic voice was a bit at odds with Ira Gershwin's playful lyrics in a couple of selections, her rendition of "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess was one of the best versions I've ever heard....Faugno...displayed surefooted vocals as well as some fancy, skilled footwork in the style of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, both of whom worked with Gershwin. His dancing and singing during "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Slap that Bass" were exuberant....An encore of "Love Is Here to Stay," the last song George Gershwin wrote, was a poignant and fitting end to the concert. Having died so young, at just age 38, George Gershwin's music is full of life, wit, and sophistication and, like the encore song and the title of the concert, the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and guests proved that his music is most definitely here to stay."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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