Under the musical direction of Nigel Wright (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s partner for 12 years, Phantom of the Opera), “The Wonderful Wizard of Song” will be a multi-media, family friendly concert. It is also the first Arlen-themed event in L.A. since the Harold Arlen Centennial Celebration kicked off in New York last year when NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared Feb. 15th Harold Arlen Day. The music for the evening will include an onscreen tribute by Tony Bennett, the talents of Arlen’s son, saxophonist Sam Arlen, Vegas mainstager George Bugatti’s Three Crooners and a 12-piece orchestra. Bookended by stories that take the audience from the Cotton Club in Harlem through Arlen’s Hollywood years to the Broadway stage, the show will feature more than 20 of Arlen’s treasured songs including “Over the Rainbow,” “Let’s Fall In Love,” “Old Black Magic,” Stormy Weather,” “The Man That Got Away,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Get Happy,” and “I’ve Got The World On A String.”
The stage will be adorned by 6 by 8 foot revolving movie posters from the original motion pictures, Let’s Fall In Love, A Star Is Born and of course, The Wizard of Oz. It will also feature never before seen manuscripts, memorabilia and footage provided courtesy of Sam Arlen. After the Los Angeles kick-off event, the show’s national tour itinerary will be announced.
The Ford Amphitheatre is located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway across from the Hollywood Bowl and south of Universal Studios. For tickets, log on to www.FordAmphitheatre.org or call the Ford Box Office at 323 GO 1-FORD (461-3673).