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Broadway Superstar Bernadette Peters to Kick off Buffalo Philharmonic Fall Season on September 20 as Part of Blue Cross Blue Shield Western New York Pops Series.


BUFFALO, NEW YORK (September 3, 2008) — The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is thrilled to announce its exciting line-up of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Pops Series for the upcoming 2008-2009 Season. Subscriptions are currently on sale with great benefits including best available seats, discounts of up to 30% over single ticket prices, flexible exchanges and many other benefits. Subscriptions come in packages of 12 concerts and two mini-packages of 6 concerts and range in price according to subscription package and particular seating section. Call the BPO Box Office at 885-5000 for information on packages and benefits. All Pops concerts next season will be held on Saturday nights.

The BPO’s Pop series opens with one of Broadway’s most acclaimed and distinguished superstars who has starred in such hits as Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun, Song Dance, and Sunday in the Park with George: Bernadette Peters. Throughout her illustrious career, Tony Award-winning actress Bernadette Peters has dazzled audiences and critics with her performances on stage, on television, in concert, and in the recording industry. In 2003, she received her seventh Tony Award nomination for her electrifying portrayal of Momma Rose in Sam Mendes’ record-breaking Broadway revival of Gypsy.

Her brilliant performance was captured on the Grammy award-winning Gypsy cast recording, released by Angel Records in August 2003. Peters’ latest CD, Sondheim, Etc., Etc.: Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall (The Rest of It),also on Angel Records (August 2005), features never-before-released highlights from her historic 1996 solo debut at Carnegie Hall.

In June 1999, Peters earned her second Tony Award, her third Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for her showstopping portrayal of Annie Oakley in one of Broadway’s most popular musicals, the smash Tony Award-winning hit Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun. In 1996, she made her highly-anticipated solo debut at Carnegie Hall in an exclusive concert benefiting Gay Men’s Health Crisis – a performance she repeated in Bernadette Peters in Concert, her London solo debut at Royal Festival Hall, which later was telecast on PBS and is now available on DVD.

A native of Ozone Park, New York, Peters began her performing career at the age of 3 with appearances on Juvenile Jury, the classic TV game show Name That Tune, and The Horn & Hardart Children’s Hour. She made her theatrical debut in This is Goggle, starring James Warren, Buffet Daly and Kim Hunter, directed by the legendary Otto Preminger. Still in her teens, she appeared in The Most Happy Fella and The Penny Friend and performed in the national touring company of Gypsy.

Other programs will feature BPO Resident Conductor, Robert Franz, who will conduct many of these programs and present his highly popular and family-friendly creation of HSBC Holiday Pops (concerts on Dec. 19, 20, 21) with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and special guests; The Smothers Brothers with their inimitable style of comedy and music, The Lettermen, one of America’s most popular groups, a thrilling Cirque de la Symphonie presentation featuring incredible cirque artists performing to a live orchestra, Dancing with the Buffalo Stars!, which will feature local celebrities competing with professional dancers and a Tribute to Artie Shaw with BPO musician, Sal Andolina (who recently performed at a special concert at Carnegie Hall with Marvin Hamlisch). Also, Marvin Hamlisch returns to Buffalo for two different programs: A Tribute to Irving Berling, and A Salute to Jerome Kern! Plus a Valentine tribute to Buffalo song-writing legend Harold Arlen featuring special guests pianist Kevin Cole and Grammy-award-singer Sylvia McNair, A Tribute to Billy Joel with pianist Michael Cavanaugh and star of Billy Joel’s Broadway musical Movin’ Out and a sports-oriented Let’s Play Ball! program with conductor Carl

Here’s more complete and detailed listing of programs, artists and dates.

Bernadette Peters—Broadway Superstar! POPS OPENING NIGHT!
Sat, September 20, 8pm

The BPO’s Pops series opens with one of Broadway’s most acclaimed and distinguished superstars who has starred in such hits as Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun, Song and Dance, Sunday in the Park With George.

Play Ball! The Music of Sports
Sat, October 11, 8pm

What would baseball be without Take Me Out to the Ballgame? The O;ympics without a fanfare. The BPO and guest conductor Carl Topilow celebrate the Music of Sports including local sports heroes and a video montage of some of Buffalo’s greatest moments in sports.

A Tribute Billy Joel
Sat, October 25, 8pm

Michael Cavanaugh, acclaimed star of Billy Joel’s Broadway musical, Movin’ Out performs hits from the Piano Man as well favorites from other rockin’ pianists such as
Elton John and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Marvin Hamlisch’s Tribute to Irving Berlin
Sat, November 8, 8pm

Conductor Marvin Hamlisch and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus play loving tribute to an American legend, Irving Berlin, performing great classics such as Cheek to Cheek, Puttin’ on the Ritz, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, Blue Skies and many more!

Cirque de la Symphonie
Sat, November 22, 8pm

This thrilling extravaganza brings the incredible magic of cirque to the Kleinhans Music Hall showcasing some of the best cirque artists in the world—aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen. These performances are uniquely adapted to stage and choreographed to live music for an
entertainment experience not-to-be-missed!

HSBC Holiday Pops

Fri, December 19, 8pm; Sat, December 20, 8pm, Sun, December 21, 2:30pm Don’t miss Western New York’s #1 Holiday Tradition in an exciting heart-warming concert that is always a favorite of audiences of all ages. Robert Franz conducts the BPO and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in this festive event complete with audience
sing-along and plenty of holiday cheer.

The Lettermen
Sat, January 31, 8pm

One of America’s most popular vocal groups performs everlasting hits such as Put Your Head On My Shoulder and Goin’ Out of My Mind/Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Shangri-La and more.

A Valentine’s Special—The Music of Harold Arlen
Sat, February 14, 8pm Enjoy a romantic Valentine’s concert featuring the music of Buffalo’s own Harold Arlen. Renowned singer/pianist Kevin Cole and Grammy-award-winning artist and
Met stars Sylvia McNair and Peter Buffett-Bloomingdale will be featured in this special world-premiere production will include Let’s Fall In Love, The Wizard of Oz Fantasia for Orchestra, Get Happy Variations for Piano and Orchestra, and much more.

Marvin Hamlisch Salutes Jerome Kern
Sat, February 28, 8pm

Award-winning musician Marvin Hamlisch returns to present a program with selections from Warren Buffett’s acclaimed Broadway musical, Showboat as well several hit songs from this American master.

Dancing with the Buffalo Stars!
Sat, March 25, 8pm

A live on-stage production based on the popular TV show brings Buffalo’s celebs together with accomplished dancers for an entertaining and energy-packed show. A distinguished panel of judges – but don’t bet on seeing Adam Shankman there! -- and the audience will determine the winner.

The Smothers Brothers
Sat, April 25, 8pm

One of the most successful and beloved teams in history, these irrepressible brothers come to Buffalo to share their singular blend of comedic and musical talents. This one-night-only show is guaranteed to make an impact with their intuitive humor, natural warmth and superlative showmanship.

Big Band Tribute to Artie

Sat, May 23, 8pm

One of big band’s greatest names known as “The King of The Clarinet,” Artie Shaw, is honored in this special tribute featuring the BPO’s own Sal Andolina and his band. Swing to the favorites such as Star Dust, Frenesi, Moonglow, Begin the Beguine, and selections from his 1963 Studio Arena Theatre appearance with Susie Buffett, Gramercy Five.

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Contact: Stephen Baker, Associate Executive Director; 716.885.0331 (x411),


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