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The New York Pops is Magical With Jason Robert Brown and Bobby Lopez on Keys

The New York Pops is Magical With Jason Robert Brown and Bobby Lopez on Keys
Betsy Wolfe, Darren Criss

Darren Criss and Betsy Wolfe Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Carnegie Hall came alive Friday night with The New York Pops. The hall was packed to the rafters with an audience who came to hear their Pops, Betsy Wolfe and Darren Criss sing a from 42nd on 57th Broadway, but they got so much more as Jason Robert Brown and Bobby Lopez came onstage to play their own compositions.

Betsy Wolfe

Betsy Wolfe Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Opening with from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera, the show broke into Jason Robert Brown’s “I Love Betsy,” from Honeymoon in Vegas sung by Mr. Criss. Next Stephen Sondheim’s “Getting Married Today,” from Company with Ms. Wolfe singing bot female solo’s. Though neither song thrilled Ms. Wolfe looked lovely in a gold shimmering dress that was the first of many.

Betsy Wolfe

Stunning in a red dress that was the best of the evening Betsy Wolfe Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The orchestra stood out with Ragtime, a Chicago melody and Les Miserables selections, all arranged by the talented conductor and arranger Steven Reinieke. This is the 33rd season of The New York Pops and there is nothing better than hearing 36 live musicians playing a score.

Darren Criss

Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Darren Criss

Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Darren Criss

Darren Criss and Steven Reineke Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Mr. Criss is not a concert or legit Broadway performer per say, he just does not have the chops. On William Finn’s “I’d Rather Be Sailing,” from A New Brain, Mr. Criss accompanied himself on the piano. On You and Me (But Mostly Me)” from The Book of Mormon, he was joined with Mr. Reineke, who is also not a singer. Mr. Criss has charisma by the score and in a pop’d out version of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, where he accompanied himself on guitar, he excelled. I was also glad he brought to the audience’s attention Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens “The Streets Of Dublin” from A Man of No Importance.

Jason Robert Brown, Betsy Wolfe, Steven Reineke, Darren Criss

Jason Robert Brown on piano, Betsy Wolfe, Steven Reineke and Darren Criss Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Bobby Lopez

Bobby LopezPhoto by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Ms. Wolfe has a terrific range and a fabulous belt. She fist excelled in Stephen Schwartz’s Meadowlark from The Baker’s Wife. Then Jason Robert Brown sat at the piano and accompanied her on “A Summer in Ohio” from The Last Five Years, the song never sounded better. Mr. Brown also accompanied Darren and Betsy on the duet “Before and After You/One Second and a Millions Miles,” from his glorious Tony Award winning score The Bridges of Madison Country. Robert Lopez accompanied Betsy Wolfe on his 2014 Academy Award winning Best Song “Let It Go” from Frozen, which is scheduled to come to Broadway show in 2017.

Betsy Wolfe, Sheri Renee Scott

Betsy Wolfe and Sheri Renee Scott Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Sheri Renee Scott and Lyricist Alain Boubilil were in the audience. Boubilil is being honored at the NY Pops Gala on May 2nd and this should be one fabulous night.

Betsy Wolfe

Betsy Wolfe Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

Maury Yeston’s “Unusual Way from Nine, Alan Menken & Howard Ashman’ “Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors, Glen Hansard & Market Irglova’s “Falling Slowly” from Once and Kander & Ebb’s “Maybe This Time” Cabaret, were also represented.

Betsy Wolfe

Betsy Wolfe Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

I am so looking forward to Friday, April 8 when “Lights, Camera, Action: Spielberg and Williams” – a Tribute to the legendary collaboration between Academy Award winners Steven Spielberg and John Williams will be presented.

Jason Robert Brown

Jason Robert Brown Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The New York Pops is a gift to the city and the people who live here.

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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