The annual "Evening at Pops" series kicks off its 2002 season on June 30 with a program saluting the City of New York and featuring one of this season's Tony nominees for Best Special Theatrical Event, Barbara Cook.
Cook, who is currently reprising her Mostly Sondheim program at Lincoln Center, will join Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart and the New York Voices for an hour of songs from the classical and Broadway worlds. The famed Boston Pops Orchestra will be featured on "Serenade for Strings," "For New York (Variations on Themes of Leonard Bernstein)," Gershwin's "Prelude No. 2" and "Promenade (Walking the Dog)" and Kander and Ebb's ode to the Big Apple, "New York, New York." Cook will then wrap her golden vocals around "On a Clear Day," "In Buddy's Eyes," "Hard-Hearted Hannah," "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee," "San Francisco," "Send in the Clowns," "Ice Cream," "Losing My Mind," "The Trolley Song" and Stephen Sondheim's "Anyone Can Whistle." The New York Voices will offer several tunes as well, including special arrangements of "Early Autumn," "Don't Be That Way," "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Sing, Sing, Sing."
The 33rd season of "Evening at Pops" will continue on July 14 with a tribute to Richard Rodgers, who would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year. Among the Broadway stars singing works from Rodgers' collaborations with Oscar Hammerstein are Rebecca Luker, Audra McDonald, Ron Raines, Douglas Sills, Mary Testa and Lillias White. The July 21 telecast continues the Rodgers theme, focusing on the composer's earlier works with Lorenz Hart. Luker, McDonald, Raines, Sills, Testa and White will also be on hand that evening, which will feature The Mark Morris Dance Company as well.
John Williams, the former conductor of the Boston Pops, will return for a special July 28 broadcast that boasts two young singing sensations, Lara Fabian and Josh Groban, as well as guitarist Christopher Parkening. Keith Lockhart returns to his conducting post on Aug. 4 with a program entitled "Fiddlers Three." The evening will include three violinists — Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg, Regina Carter and Eileen Ivers — who will offer new and classic works.
Encore presentations from previous "Evening at Pops" seasons will be offered on July 7, Aug. 11, 18 and 25 and Sept. 1. Of particular interest to theatre lovers is the Aug. 11 encore, which features Martin Short, Craig Bierko, Rebecca Luker and the cast of the most recent Music Man revival. "Evening at Pops" is broadcast on PBS stations throughout the country. Check local listings for dates and times.
—By Andrew Gans