The New York Pops pulled out all the stops on Friday night, offering concertgoers lush orchestrations of favorites from the Broadway songbook. Joining musical director Steven Reineke were stars of stage and screen Stephanie J. Block and Andrew Rannells.
Now in its 31st season, The New York Pops is the largest pops orchestra in the United States, and if you’ve missed those big dynamics at a recent Broadway show, where orchestra size is diminishing by year by year, you’ll be blown away by the 77 members who represent the very best of New York City’s musical talent.
The program included Broadway classics as well as contemporary works, including arrangements from Gypsy and West Side Story. Rannell’s high points came during his interpretation of songs from the lesser known A Man of No Importance (music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens), while Block brought down the house from beginning to end, belting out “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl and capping off the evening with “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. Block has said in the past that she’s dying to do Sondheim and strategically slipped in numbers from both Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George. Roundabout take note. (The nonprofit theater will be reviving Into the Woods next season in a reimagined production that originated at the McCarter Theatre Center and Fiasco Theater.)
What’s next for The Pops? Lights, Camera, Action: A Night in Hollywood on April 4, then the orchestra’s all-star gala on April 28 honoring Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman with performances from Will Chase, Patti LuPone, Katherine McPhee and Jane Krakowski, among others.