Pasadena Symphony And Pops’ Popular ‘Music Under The Stars’ Concert at City Hall Strikes Up On Saturday Night, Free, For All to Enjoy

Plein air concert, Bob Baker puppet show set for City Hall June 4
By CYNTHIA YANG, Weekendr Staff Writer
Published on May 25, 2022

The Pasadena Symphony and POPS’ free “Music Under the Stars” concert to be held this year on June 4 at City Hall’s Centennial Square will feature tunes from a range of Broadway shows, including  West Side Story, Chicago, Hairspray, and The Greatest Showman.

The festive outdoor evening will begin at 6 p.m. with picnicking, food trucks and a new Kids Korner, with free face painting, balloon animals and a musical instrument petting zoo, where kids create their own music with the instruments of the orchestra. 

The evening will also feature a special performance by the Bob Baker Marionette Theater at 7 p.m.

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater has served millions of children and families since 1963. 

With over 3,000 handcrafted puppets and a new home in Highland Park, they are actively expanding programs to reach families, adults, and their community at large. Their presentation for Pasadena Symphony and POPS will highlight classic performances from their historic repertoire, including a singing cat, elegant opera singer, and a traditional hat dance.

The “Music Under the Stars” orchestra will be led by resident POPS Conductor Larry Blank, who will welcome the Donald Brinegar Singers, the JPL Chorus,  and guests singer Laura Dickinson, singer/dancer Valarie Pettiford, and dancer Matthew Johnson. 

Conductor Blank has been presented all over the world, including some of Broadway’s most successful musicals, Carnegie Hall, and numerous television and film projects. He has received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his orchestrations of Catch Me If You Can, The Drowsy Chaperone and White Christmas. Blank also received Drama Desk nominations for A Christmas Story and Honeymoon in Vegas.

Dickinson’s voice has appeared on Sofia the First, both Frozen films, Elena of Avalor, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Mulan, as well as on Michael Bublé’s Nobody But Me album. 

Pettiford has appeared on Broadway and the West End in Fosse, West Side Story and Chicago among others, as well as TV appearances on The Blacklist, Blackish, True Blood and Treme. Her television highlights include the series regular role of Ronda Sales on Season 4 of Being Mary Jane, four seasons and 3 NAACP Image Awards’ nominations for the series regular role of Big Dee Dee on the hit television comedy Half and Half. She has appeared in recurring roles as Simone Porter on Valor, Charlene Cooper on The Blacklist, and Beverly on Born Again Virgin

Johnson has performed with the likes of Pharrell, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Childish Gambino and Stevie Wonder. His musical theater roots were cultivated at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and through his mentor, Debbie Allen. Matthew has done vocal arrangements for the Grammy Awards, as well as performed at the Emmys and the Billboard Awards.  

Music Under the Stars is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Department of Arts and Culture.

‘Music Under the Stars’ concert, City Hall Plaza Centennial Square. 6 p.m. Kids Korner; 7.p.m. Bob Baker Marionette Theater performance, 8 p.m. Concert begins at 8 pm. Free. More information is available at www.PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org or (626) 793-7172.

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