“Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. will perform in June with the Omaha Symphony.
Odom won a Tony for Best Actor as Aaron Burr in the original cast of the hip-hop musical and a Grammy as principal vocalist on the cast album. He’ll perform songs from his many roles on Broadway, “Hamilton” included.
Guest appearances such as Odom’s give Broadway performers a chance to explore who they are as artists, says Principal Pops Conductor Ernest Richardson. Odom, for example, is an accomplished solo jazz artist with several albums to his credit.
Odom’s appearance is just one highlight of the Omaha Symphony’s 2018-19 season, which kicks off Monday with single ticket sales for the six-concert series.
Other Broadway headliners include the Midtown Men from the original cast of “Jersey Boys.” Expect music from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, along with Motown and Rat Pack hits of the 1960s, all in tight harmony.
“That style of music is incredibly compelling to folks,” Richardson says.
Music from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” will be performed as part of the Pops Series by members of Music Theatre Wichita.
“We haven’t done a semi-staged musical in a long time,” Richardson says of the costumes and staging that will be included.
The “Physicians Mutual Christmas Celebration” – a holiday favorite with 10 performances – will feature traditional seasonal tunes with Richardson’s signature twists. Last year, choreographer Parker Esse added a jazzy tap dance to “Jingle Bells,” among other surprises. Expect more of the same this season, Richardson says.
Another “increasingly exciting” offering is the Movie Series with underscoring by the Omaha Symphony.
“The only thing scrubbed is the original soundtrack,” Richardson says of the technology that keeps all of the dialogue and other sounds in the movie. “Live musicians make that background score bigger.”
The Movie Series features “Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in Concert” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert.”
For classical music lovers, the MasterWorks Series opens with Beethoven’s 5th symphony in its entirety, conducted by Music Director Thomas Wilkins.
Wilkins also will direct a two-night MasterWorks festival, “Russian, French and American Tales,” featuring Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite, Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Coplan’s Billy the Kid Suite and Gershwin’s An American in Paris. The music of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Mahler also will be performed.
Other highlights on the symphony calendar:
>>The Symphony Rocks series. Two rock favorites return. Billy McGuigan and his British-invasion band will take the audience back to the 1960s while Matt Catingub will salute the 1970s and 1980s.
>>The Symphony Joslyn series. Art and music lovers will enjoy works by Schubert, Haydn and Bach; Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite; and Bizet’s Symphony in C.
>> Family series. The annual Symphony Spooktacular will be “Out of This World” with music from Star Wars, Star Trek and more.
>> Special concerts. The Omaha Symphony, in collaboration with MAHA music festival, will present Guster live onstage Feb. 8 at the Holland Performing Arts Center. The alternative rock band, known for its driving rhythms, memorable melodies and fun concerts, will perform "Fa Fa," "Satellite," "Either Way" and more fan favorites enhanced by the power of a full orchestra.
The annual Choral Collaborative – a partnership between the Omaha Symphony and area high school vocal music programs – will be Nov. 11. The select 500-voice teen chorus will present Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Explore the season and buy tickets here.
Brady to perform at Symphony Gala
Wayne Brady, Emmy-winning singer, dancer, actor and comedian, will be the featured entertainment for the Omaha Symphony Gala on April 13.
The gala raises funds to support the symphony’s education and community engagement programs and also salutes patrons of the arts in Omaha.
Brady is the star of Broadway’s “Kinky Boots,” Chicago’s “Hamilton” and TV’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” He’ll appear with the Omaha Symphony and Music Director Thomas Wilkins.