New York Pops bring the heat with classic numbers
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Jul 12, 2016 | 3745 views | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Steven Reineke with Megan Hilty (Credit: Richard Termine)
Steven Reineke with Megan Hilty (Credit: Richard Termine)
Matthew Morrison leads the New York Pops (Credit: Richard Termine)
Matthew Morrison leads the New York Pops (Credit: Richard Termine)
Outdoor concerts and the summer season go perfectly together, especially when it comes to The New York Pops performing at Forest Hills Stadium. As part of their new tradition, the New York Pops made their way from Carnegie Hall to their summer home in Queens last Thursday night in hopes of bringing excitement for orchestral music to a new crowd. And they did just so.

While most of the concerts at the stadium so far have had a particular type of fanbase, such as youngsters listening to EDM artists like Disclosure or an older crowd listening to Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan, the New York Pops have had the most family-friendly event at the concert venue this summer. Fans from toddlers to senior citizens sang and danced as the orchestra played classic hits.

In a night that was largely deemed as “Glee” versus “Smash,” it was clear that there were no losers. Each performer was charming in their own way.

Morrison, who expressed to the audience that he believed he was “born in the wrong era” sang Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” and “New York, New York.” He also did an impressive eight-minute medley from the Broadway cult-favorite “Hairspray,” where he played Link Larkin from 2002 to 2004. Between songs, he gave short and lively descriptions of the show for those who hadn’t seen it. Throughout his performances, he struggled to keep his dance moves contained on the small platform built on stage and his energy spread to the crowd like a wildfire.

Hilty, who ranged from an adorable character to a sultry siren by the end of the night, seemingly had less stage time but was just as impactful. Her voice was impeccable and her song selection truly showed it off. She sang “Popular” from Wicked, where she played Glinda the Good Witch for more than four years, as well as “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Autumn Leaves/When October Goes.”

The two stars came together to sing Morrison’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” in which he originally sang with actress Gwyenth Paltrow. Altough Morrison’s ukulele faltered a bit, their duet was peaceful yet powerful, and honestly, better than the Paltrow collaboration.

The show would have been amplified if either performer sang something totally unpredictable, as Morrison almost did when he teased the crowd with a few lines from Adele’s and Lionel Ritchie’s renditions of “Hello.” Still, it was a lovely night to take in some Broadway favorites at reasonable prices.

The New York Pops themselves sparkled all night long. Their talent especially shined during the spirited performance of “Copacabana.”

With this year’s concert over, one can’t help but wonder who will join the New York Pops next year?

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