Tuning up

Starlight Bowl season kicks off with July 4 celebration and continues with returning acts Berlin and the Fab Four.

June 23, 2010|By Joyce Rudolph,

Returning acts are tuning up for the summer season at the Starlight Bowl.

The music begins on July 4 with "Salute to the Soul of America" with the group Stone Soul joining forces with the Burbank Philharmonic before the 9 p.m. fireworks display.

Stone Soul leads off the first half of the concert, said Cathryn Villalobos, recreation supervisor for the Burbank Parks, Recreation and Community Services.


"We had Stone Soul last year at one of the Sunday evening performances, and they were really well received," she said. "They are super high-energy and perform all the familiar Motown hits. We thought they would be a perfect fit on Fourth of July."

There will be a little interaction between the two musical groups as lead singer Matt Phairas of Stone Soul will be singing a couple songs with the orchestra when the philharmonic takes the stage the second half, Villalobos said.

"That will be new for everybody," she said. "The fireworks start at 9 p.m. and last just under 20 minutes."

Burbank Mayor Anja Reinke will be guest conductor for Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" just before the fireworks display, said Steven Kerstein, conductor of the Burbank Philharmonic.

"She is a great supporter of the arts in Burbank and we wanted to make sure she had the chance to conduct one of the jewels of the performing arts organizations in town," Kerstein said.

Phairas will perform James Brown's "Living in America" and a Stone Soul version of "America the Beautiful" with the philharmonic. Then the philharmonic will perform music from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" and music from John Williams' "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Star Wars" and Morton Gould's "American Salute" and "76 Trombones" by Meredith Wilson from the musical "The Music Man."

The first Sunday concert features Adbacadabra, an Abba tribute band, and Fantastic Diamond, a Neil Diamond tribute group, Villalobos said.

"We've been hearing for years that people want a Neil Diamond tribute," she said. "These are two really good tribute bands. People like to hear bands they can sing and dance to."

Another highlight will be the return of the band Berlin, featuring Terri Nunn.

"We had the band here in 2007, and again it was very well received," Villalobos said. "It's an '80s group and is probably best known for the song 'Take My Breath Away,' which won an Academy Award and Golden Globe.

Opening for them will be the Spazmatics, also an '80s dance band.

Closing the season will be the Fab Four and the Answer on Aug. 8.

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