Indianapolis symphony Orchestra, Hilbert Circle Theatre,Nov. 16-18.
Sharply inspired ISO players and guest vocalists/dancers Billy Tighe and Kristine Reese lifted film scores from their sublimely visceral residency onto front and center stage for a thoroughly enjoyable evening Pops Program on Nov. 16. Under Erich Kunzel’s baton, “Hooray for Hollywood” erupted into a vibrant hoorah, stirring heart to gut emotions alternatively and simultaneously, sweeping cinema’s 20th century landscape from Gone With the Wind through to A Space Odyssey. Film clips enhanced the music, in a switch of roles. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of his professional debut, Maestro Kunzel still treats each appearance as his first, with an edge of excitement that alerts people in the seats to stave off napping. Charles Manning featured at the piano for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Exodus. Concertmaster Zachary De Pue thrilled with the violin solo from Dr. Zhivago. The percussion section starred throughout, with each other section equally taking leading roles and soloists delighting with cameo appearances. The showstopper may have been “Singin’ in the Rain” from The Hollywood Revue of 1929 with Tighe not merely emulating the masterful Gene Kelly, but incorporating him into his own litheness. The audience did indeed leave the concert with a smile.