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One night only, September 29th. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s A Grand Night for Singing

Catrin Davies

Everyone knows at least one song by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Their careers gave the world some of the best musicals ever written, including “The Sound of Music,” “Oklahoma!”, “South Pacific,” and “The King and I.” For true fans who love the music, it’s rare to find these shows going at the same time. Someone else had the same thought and decided to put all his favorite songs together in one show. That’s how “A Grand Night for Singing” was born. As conceived by Walter Bobbie in 1993, this review-style show brings together the best-loved music of all the musicals named above plus a few more.

One of those true Rodgers & Hammerstein fans, Live Arts Maryland’s Music Director J Ernest Green, jumped at the chance to bring “A Grand Night for Singing” to Annapolis. On September 29 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Mr. Green conducts the Annapolis Chorale, members of the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, and a cast of very talented singers in this Tony Award-nominated celebration. Mr. Bobbie and his collaborators put together more than 30 of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “greatest hits.” The show took Broadway by storm and became a favorite among performers as well as audiences.

Joining Mr. Green for this production are the dynamic duo Jason Buckwalter and Kimberly Christie who sang on last year’s Pops Concert that featured music from the American Songbook. Catrin Davies, who has been directing many of the chorale’s Broadway Night in Annapolis productions, will be stepping into the spotlight for this show and joined by featured chorale members Lindsay Espinosa, Molly Green, Tom Maguette, Heather McMunigal, and Kristin Pagent.

What attracts Mr. Green to this production is its fresh approach to the much-loved songs. “This show is not so much as a review as it is a re-shaping of the individual songs…putting them in more modern settings. The best part is that they managed to do that while honoring the songs and keeping what people love about them.”

“A Grand Night for Singing” is a perfect continuation for Live Arts Maryland’s Fall Pops Concerts. Last year we explored the American Songbook that featured timeless classics by composers George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Jerome Kern. This year we can enjoy favorites from Broadway’s Golden Era through the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Performed with an orchestra, some staging and choreography, and the power and energy of the Annapolis Chorale, this performance is sure to be a grand night of song!

This performance is one night only on Saturday, September 29 at 8 p.m. Live Arts Maryland offers free student rush tickets a half hour before concerts to all full-time students with a valid ID or those under 18 years of age. Tickets range from $46-$51 for adults, $18 for pre-paid students and are on sale now at the Maryland Hall Box Office at 410-280-5640 or www.liveartsmaryland.org. Group rates are available.

Live Arts Maryland is one of the region’s largest and most active non-profit performing arts organizations and is dedicated to enhancing community life by performing and presenting high-quality music and providing music education for all ages. Live Arts Maryland is also home to the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Annapolis Youth Chorus and the St. Anne’s Concert Series. It also offers such music education programs as the MusicWorks school partnership and a scholarship program for high-school music students. The Annapolis Chorale is a resident company of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and is supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis, and CapitalOne Bank.

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