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Pasadena Pops, Hamlisch announce starry 2012 season at Arboretum

August 19, 2011 |  2:15 pm

Marvin Hamlisch conducts Pasadena Pops
Pasadena Pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch has recruited some of his fellow Broadway babies to highlight the orchestra’s 2012 inaugural summer at its new venue, the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia.

Michael Feinstein will croon and play the piano while Hamlisch conducts on July 21. Lucie Arnaz and Robert Klein will revisit “They’re Playing Our Song” with Hamlisch (June 16) in a concert version of the 1979 musical that Hamlisch, lyricist Carole Bayer Sager and librettist Neil Simon based on Hamlisch and Sager’s real-life relationship. Arnaz and Klein starred as the two songwriters' alter egos in the original Broadway production.

Hamlisch will conduct a “Gershwin on the Green” concert (Sept. 8, 2012) with guest pianist Kevin Cole; guest conductor Michael Krajewski takes the baton Aug. 18 for an eclectic evening titled “La Dolce Vita,” featuring the vocal trio Poperazzi.

Hamlisch winds up his debut 2011 season as Pasadena Pops principal conductor on Aug. 27 with a "Marvin Does Movies" program at the orchestra's current venue, a lawn next to the Rose Bowl.

Among the promised amenities in the new venue, according to the 2012 season announcement issued Friday, are a more diverse array of food vendors and a “full line of VIP flushable comfort stations” that will “feel like using any other restroom in an indoor venue.”

Peacock at Los Angeles County Arboretum There’s no mention of how Hamlisch and company plan to deal with the abundant peacocks and peahens who inhabit the arboretum –- providing a feast for the eyes, but a potential menace to the ears given the creatures’ knack for screeching. Over the years, Times reviewers assessing the efforts of the arboretum’s current summer tenants, the soon-to-be ousted California Philharmonic, have often noted the presence of the protected birds, using phrases like “resident nemeses” and “often vocal [denizens] that fancy themselves guest soloists.”

After 16 years there, the California Philharmonic will bid adieu to the Arboretum on Saturday with "That's Entertainment," a program of Gershwin, Mahler and show tunes featuring violinist Lindsay Deutsch. Next summer the orchestra will take up residency at its new outdoor venue, the infield at the nearby Santa Anita Park racetrack.

As for the peacocks, for the most part they pipe down and go to sleep after dusk, Tracey Madrid, Cal Phil’s director of volunteers, said Friday, although it’s not unheard of for music director Victor Vener to sometimes acknowledge their calls as a form of applause. “They’ve been nothing but a joy to work alongside. I’m going to miss them,” Madrid said.


Marvin Hamlisch, making his way in Pasadena

California Philharmonic loses summer home at Arboretum to Pasadena Pops

California Philharmonic summer series moving to Santa Anita racetrack

-- Mike Boehm

Photo: Marvin Hamlisch conducts Pasadena Pops; peacock at Los Angeles County Arboretum. Credits: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times (top); Los Angeles County Arboretum