Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly created this stellar program showcasing Broadway stars Chistina Bianco, Ben Crawford and Ted Keegan and the Indianapolis Men's Chorus in songs from iconic musicals, including Jekyll & Hyde, West Side Story, The Music Man, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. Everly singled out Michael Gibson's arrangement of John Kander's Suite from Chicago, drawing connections between Gibson and the ISO (All that Jazz: The Music of Kander & Ebb will open the pops series Oct. 4-5).
Bianco and Crawford introduced Everly's arrangement of "Falling Slowly" from Once, the 2012 Tony award-winning musical by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Based on the 2006 film, Once is a bare-boned love story with a bittersweet ending. The audience stopped its chattering and listened intently as the music box melody wound its way into our consciousness and the honesty of the lyrics took on meaning: "I don't know you, but I want you all the more for that / Words fall through me, and always fool me, and I can't react... "
Nevertheless, the showstopper was the charismatic Christina Bianco presenting excerpts from her Diva Moments solo show. Her celebrity impressions of Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, etc., etc. bring the audience into the uniqueness of each singer's style while pointing up Bianco's vocal versatility and comedic flair.