CSO salutes music of Jerry Herman
Some of the most recognized hits of Broadway — “Hello, Dolly,” “If He Walked Into My Life” from “Mame,” “I Am What I Am” from “La Cage Aux Folles” — will be performed Saturday, Oct. 6, by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera when the CSO presents Jerry Herman: The Broadway Legacy Concert.
The 7: 30 p. m. concert is t he season- opening performance in the Luken Holdings Pops Series. It will be held in the Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St. Singing Herman’s hits will be guest vocalists Klea Blackhurst, Debbie Gravitte, Ron Raines and Scott Coulter, a Chattanooga native.
“Among the greatest composers for Broadway in the last 50 years, Jerry Herman’s music is wonderful, memorable and important,” says Bob Bernhardt, who will conduct the pops concert.
“While his name may not be in front of the mind like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim, Saturday’s show will make the delightful argument that the composer of ‘Mame,’ ‘La Cage Aux Folles,’ ‘Hello Dolly!’ and many others deserves his place among the masters
Herman has been nominated for the Tony Award five times and won twice, for “Hello, Dolly!” and “La Cage aux Folles.” In 2009, Herman received t he Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. He is also a recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors award.
His most famous show tune, “Hello, Dolly!” was a No. 1 hit in the United States for Louis Armstrong, knocking The Beatles out of the No. 1 spot on music charts in 1964 after the Fab Four had held a 14-week run at the top.
“Hello, Dolly!” won Herman a Grammy Award in 1964 for Song. of the Year. He won a second Grammy in 1966 for Best Score From an Original Cast Show Album, “Mame.”
Ron Raines is a Tony Award nominee for “Follies,” a threetime Emmy Award nominee for his role as villain Alan Spaulding on CBS soap “Guiding Light” and has appeared on four PBS “Great Performances.”
Scott Coulter is a director and composer and one of New York’s most-honored male vocalists. He has performed in concert with symphonies around the world, recently wrote the book for new musical “Got To Be There” about the life of songwriter Elliot Willensky and is founder of the vocal coaching series called Songbook. He is owner and founder of Spot-On Entertainment.
Debbie Gravitte won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.”
Klea Blackhurst is an actress, singer and comedian known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, “Everything the Traffic Will Allow.” She’s performed with symphony orchestras and in theatrical productions across the country and abroad.