Ed. Note: In an on-going effort to spotlight local shows and events that will interest teens (some of Baewatch’s biggest readers), I will be writing reviews and features for the Orpehum’s Broadway season throughout the year. You all should know I love anything dramatic and sometimes outrageous. Enjoy a break from your smartphones and let me know if there’s anything else you would like to see me review! Check “The Orpehum” tag for more reviews!
This weekend at in Memphis, for two nights only, you can witness Disney In Concert: a unique collaboration between The Orpheum Theatre and The Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Disney In Concert will feature many of Disney’s best known songs through live performances and clips from classic Disney films.
“Disney in Concert offers the music that audiences know and love presented in a whole new way,” explains Roland Valliere, President and CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. “If you’ve been attending our concerts since the beginning, this is the show for you. If you’ve never been to the Symphony before, this is the show for you.”.
Iren Zombor, Assistant Principal cello from the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, is confident that audiences will walk away from the show with a new interest in classical music–even if they weren’t aware that they’ve always enjoyed it. “People often forget that they listen to classical music on a regular basis when they go to the movies, go see a show at the Orpheum and so on,” she says. “They enjoy it, take it for granted and than decide that classical music is too high brow! What a silly idea. By offering this live concert to the Memphis audience which will most likely be mainly made up of families, we will entertain them and educate them by opening their eyes to what a treasure live classical music is to their community. I hope they will keep coming back for more.”
The most personal way the Symphony will be reaching out to audiences this weekend is by hosting an Instrument Petting Zoo through Amro Music Sunday March 29th, right before the show’s matinee performance. “The ‘Instrument Petting Zoo’ is a gateway to a lifelong appreciation of music,” says Erin Kaste, Personnel Manager for the Symphony. “We’ve noticed that when children have a chance to experiment with the music, to explore the notes, to feel an instrument in their hands, they just start to get it. They know they’re learning in a way that lets them participate creatively, and they can’t get enough.” And if trying out an instrument isn’t your thing, the performances will surely be a spectacle for you.
The Symphony has collaborated with a number of local and national arts organizations, but Disney In Concert could be their biggest partnership of 2015. “It is important to collaborate with other artists and organizations,” Zombor asserts. “That’s how we stay in sync with what’s going on in the city musically and that’s how we offer ourselves as a valid, relevant and viable organization musically and socially as well.”
What makes this show so great for everyone is the large scope of music being performed. If you grew up watching Disney films, music from Beauty and The Beast or The Little Mermaid will resonate on an extremely nostalgic level. For younger fans, seeing “Let It Go” from the recent smash Frozen come to life will be a wholly exciting experience. (“I think there will no doubt be a big cheer for ‘Let It Go'”, Zombar says cheekily.)
The goal of this performance is not just to host an extremely memorable partnership, but also to fundraise for the Symphony. A press release from The Orpheum and Symphony explains further:
Disney in Concert provides an exceptional opportunity to support the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, one of the most vibrant members of Memphis’ artistic community, while better acquainting the Orpheum’s Broadway theatergoers to the Memphis Symphony through the magic of Disney. After production expenses, proceeds from this special engagement will benefit The Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s highly valued mission. The nonprofits’ goal is to raise $150,000.
I think it’s so important that we reach beyond our doors to do our part in supporting fellow arts organizations,” says Orpheum President and CEO Pat Halloran. “This incredible partnership between the Orpheum and the Symphony is just one example of how organizations can work together to strengthen our arts community as a whole. We hope that our success will encourage other arts groups to look for similar opportunities.”
The main theme of Disney In Concert though should be community, specifically among artists and local organizations. “I hope that we will get on everyone’s radar [with this show],” Zombor adds. “Not only thinking about the audience, but of local businesses and other organizations who might get inspired by this collaboration and will start thinking about other ways to reach out and accomplish something together. The possibilities are endless. I think we all need to reach out and help each other.”
Zombor is thoughtful and concise with her reasoning for partnerships like this: “That’s how we can swim, and not sink.”
Tickets to Disney in Concert are on sale now and are available for purchase online at the official Orpheum Theatre website,www.orpheum-memphis.com, The Orpheum Box Office (901.525.3000), the ticket counter at The Booksellers at Laurelwood, and all Ticketmaster centers (901.743.ARTS). Tickets start at just $25 for both performances.