Make us your home page
Instagram

Boston Pops offer sparkling tribute to Barbra Streisand

Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra through a tribute to Barbra Streisand on Wednesday at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra through a tribute to Barbra Streisand on Wednesday at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG — Keith Lockhart is often cited for bringing some innovation to symphonic pops programming — such as pairing his Boston Pops Orchestra with the rock band My Morning Jacket — but there was none of that Wednesday night. Instead, Lockhart and the touring version of the Pops, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, played a staunchly traditional program, with a first act of show tunes, followed after intermission by a not particularly well-known singer, Ann Hampton Callaway, and her tribute to Barbra Streisand.

But nobody in the crowd of 1,345 at Mahaffey Theater seemed to mind the lack of adventurousness, as Lockhart and the 80-piece orchestra — the men in white dinner jackets — made like the biggest Broadway pit band around, kicking the evening off with sparkling arrangements of music from Gypsy, West Side Story and A Little Night Music. The concert was the last in a nine-city tour of the Southeast, and if the orchestra seemed a little road-weary, there was no denying the impact of its lush string sound, boosted with slight amplification.

The Streisand theme included a mini-suite of orchestral music by Marvin Hamlisch, her longtime friend and colleague who died last year at 68. Through the Eyes of Love may have had a few audience members scratching their heads — it's from Ice Castles, a figure-skating movie — but there was a big response to the overture to A Chorus Line. It featured an elegant little solo by concertmaster Joe Scheer, whom Tampa Bay area concertgoers with long memories may remember was concertmaster of the Florida Orchestra in the 1990s.

Callaway returned to the Hamlisch songbook in her Streisand segment with an achingly dramatic The Way We Were, an obvious show-stopper but no less effective. She is a smoky jazz singer-songwriter whose connection to her idol is legitimate, having written songs on six Streisand albums, such as At the Same Time, an anthem to world peace that she belted out Wednesday.

Naturally, Callaway offered up the greatest hits, including a brash and brassy Don't Rain on My Parade, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and the ballad that kept countless karaoke bars in business in the '60s, People. But she also satisfied Streisand diehards with numbers like A Piece of Sky from Yentl.

Lockhart, a lithe, deceptively nonchalant figure on the podium, and the Pops wrapped things up with a sizzling 42nd Street — featuring a delightfully goofy tap-dance sequence by one of the percussionists — and the inevitable Stars and Stripes Forever.

John Fleming can be reached at fleming@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8716.

Boston Pops offer sparkling tribute to Barbra Streisand 03/06/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 11:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23

    Events

    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  2. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others

    Stage

    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  3. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.