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Life and Arts

West of Broadway

Music from Broadway, TV and film gets a pops twist when the Glendale Renaissance Orchestra performs at the Alex Theatre. The evening’s highlight is a tribute by guest star vocalist Lorna Luft to her mother, Judy Garland.

The third concert of the season, “Broadway Meets Hollywood,” will be on Sept. 16.


Luft will sing a 40-minute segment titled “Songs My Mother Taught Me.” She has performed in concert throughout the world, on and off Broadway, and in film and television.

“This is my office,” she said. “This music is my heritage. I’ll sing songs from Broadway shows I’ve done and in live concerts.”


And despite a large catalog from which to pull, she said she has no favorite song.

“Every song I sing is my favorite at that time and place when I sing it,” she said.

The hard part is cutting the songs to fit into a 40-minute time frame. She works with Colin R. Freeman, her husband and music director/conductor, on which songs to perform.

“We really think about the program when putting together the song list, what have they heard and what will bring them to their feet,” she said.


The concert will open with “We Are Family,” the overture from “Birdcage,” chosen by Steven Goldstein, artistic director/conductor for the concert.

He’s been musical arranger/supervisor, composer, producer and consultant for TV and film projects, including “Birdcage” and “The Howie Mandel Show.”

From Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” the orchestra will perform “Somewhere” and “Maria.” That will be followed by a Henry Mancini medley featuring “Moon River” from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Le Jazz Hot” from “Victor/Victoria”.

Goldstein will give each his own take.


“We like to add a little bit of an edge to the songs,” he said.

For the song “Somewhere,” he hasn’t secured the score, but arranged it for the lead male and female voices.

“It tends to have more of a pops sensibility, rather than a traditional Broadway style,” he said.

Traditional material, like “As Long As He Needs Me” from “Oliver” and “O What a Night” heard in “Jersey Boys,” are in the program, as are newer Broadway works, like Elton John’s “Circle of Life” from “Lion King.”

Featured vocalists are Broadway performers Tobi Foster and Blake Ginther.

Harmonica virtuoso Bernie Fields will be adding his own touch to the Mancini selections.

“I think the show’s going to have some nice texture between the two Broadway soloists, the New West Pops Singers choir that is excellent and Bernie Fields, featured artist in the Mancini medley, and, of course, the fabulous Lorna Luft,” he said.

Having the famous singer perform during the Renaissance Orchestra’s inaugural season is a once-in-a-lifetime event, said Elissa Glickman, general manager of Glendale Arts.

“Lorna Luft is a knockout performer, and we are thrilled that she is a part of our inaugural season of pops,” she said. “To be able to have her on the Alex Theatre stage, backed up by some of Los Angeles’ best musicians, has the makings of a truly exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime kind of evening.”


What: “From Broadway to Hollywood — In Concert”

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16

Where: Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale

Cost: $25 to $69.50

Contact: (818) 243-2539 or