First published in the July 29 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena Pops continue their outdoor concert series with “American Icons: Judy Garland & Friends” on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum.
The program will celebrate the centennials of iconic songstresses Judy Garland, Doris Day and Peggy Lee, and give a nod to Liza Minnelli and Garland’s legacy.
Audiences will delight in hearing Feinstein’s firsthand accounts and intimate stories as Melissa Manchester, Nicole Henry and Maddie Baillio sing timeless songs such as “Big Spender,” “Cabaret,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Lady Be Good,” “Lover,” “The Trolley Song,” the original film arrangement for “Over the Rainbow” and so much more.
“Even though I never met Judy Garland, I know her family very well and they have made available her entire library of her arrangements,” Feinstein said. “Some of these have never been played publicly before, or were only heard once on her TV show.
“Speaking of Garland’s family, we will have a special tribute to Judy’s beloved daughter and my close friend for decades, Liza Minnelli,” he added. “Liza has generously loaned us some of her personal orchestrations as well to pay tribute to her, so it’s going to be quite a show.”
To musically celebrate the legacies of these women, Feinstein welcomes three soloists to the stage including icon Manchester, who is a Grammy Award winner and a singer/songwriter. Her hits include, “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” “Midnight Blue” and “Just Too Many People.” Manchester will be singing selections from her album “Legends,” where she pays tribute to Garland, Lee and Day, as well as songs from her own collection like “Come in From the Rain.” Manchester will share the stage with two generations of icons-in-the-making with Henry, an award-winning Jazz performer, and Baillio, a Songbook Youth Ambassador and “Hairspray Live” performer.
Grammy Award winner Day, who like Lee, began her career as a Big Band singer, brought great music to film including the timeless, Academy Award winner, “Que Sera Sera.” Lee’s “Fever” has influenced generation after generation since its 1940 debut including thousands of covers and platinum tributes from artists as diverse as Chaka Khan and Madonna.
All concerts are held at the L.A. County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. Grounds open for picnicking and dining at 5:30 p.m. and performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Among many venue amenities, concertgoers can enjoy pre-ordered gourmet box dinners for on-site pickup just steps from their table or a variety of food truck options.
The Arboretum is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia. Subscribers may purchase pre-paid onsite parking at the Arboretum, and all concertgoers can purchase guaranteed and convenient parking at Santa Anita Park, with complimentary, nonstop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance.
Tickets start at $25 and are available by calling the box office at (626) 793-7172, online at PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org or at the Arboretum on concert days.