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Orlando Bloom teaming up with L.A. Philharmonic for Shakespeare-themed concert

February 23, 2011 | 10:45 am

Bloom

The Los Angeles Philharmonic seems to know that in order to draw younger crowds to classical events, it often helps to bring out the celebrities. For its upcoming live broadcast to cinemas, the L.A. Phil has hired actor Orlando Bloom -- best known for playing the elf Legolas in "The Lord of the Rings" movies -- to perform selections from "Romeo and Juliet" in a concert series of Tchaikovsky's Shakespeare-inspired music.

Also on board is Matthew Rhys, of the TV series "Brothers and Sisters," who will read from "Hamlet," and veteran actor Malcolm McDowell, who will recite from "The Tempest." Actress Kate Burton will serve as stage director and host.

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel will lead the concert series, which runs March 10 to 13, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The March 13 concert will be broadcast live to cinemas around the U.S. and Canada. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET.

The concert program will feature Tchaikovsky's overture-fantasies inspired by "Romeo and Juliet," "Hamlet" and "The Tempest." The guest actors will recite verse from the plays in between the musical performances.

The L.A. Phil's first live cinema broadcast took place Jan. 9, and was hosted by Vanessa Williams.

Bloom, 34, has also starred in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies as well as "Troy" and "Kingdom of Heaven."

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-- David Ng

Photo (top): Orlando Bloom. Credit: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Photo (bottom): Dudamel, backstage at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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