Los Angeles Music Preview: THE SUMMER OF LOVE (Michael Feinstein Sings the Hits of the ’60s with the Pasadena POPS at the Arboretum)

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by Tony Frankel on July 11, 2018

in Music,Theater-Los Angeles


Of all the Michael Feinstein Pasadena POPS concerts so far, my favorites were his solo presentations of both Gershwin and the two Frank Sinatra concerts, celebrating Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 100th birthday. That’s because Feinstein handed over the conductor’s baton to Larry Blank, who led the sterling Pasadena Symphony as Michael jammed in his inimitable style: That is, charismatic, appealing, funny, boyish, excited, and eager to please. On Saturday July 21, 2018, I promise just as much outta sight excitement when the cool, consummate showman — who will also take to the piano a few times — brings us an evening dedicated to neat-o, nifty songs of the ’60s.

This cherry evening of songs encompasses the supersonic Sixties’ hit parade with tunes like “Light My Fire,” “It Had to Be You,” “Moon River,” “For Once in My Life,” “It’s Not Unusual” (yes, there will be swinging) and much more. The far-out Feinstein told us, “This amalgam of Mad Men, the pop psychedelic era, and Broadway is challenging to encapsulate in one concert, but that is going to be the joy, especially having the latitude to create all of those sounds with a symphony orchestra.”

But you can expect more than just songs which — even if they weren’t written in that decade — were popular hits of that socially turbulent decade: Feinstein is a righteous raconteur so you’ll go ape with his array of amazing anecdotes.

I highly recommend you groovy cats arrive early to park and set up your food and drink (you can also pre-order gourmet dining packages or buy beverages and fare on site as well). I like bringing edibles — I mean, goodies — to share with my neighbors. The grounds open at 5:30 for a 7:30 show, so depending on your ticket type you can either picnic on the lawn or get seats at one of the linen-covered round-top tables.

The anticipation is always keen for these concerts, so even though the Arboretum can accommodate a massive number of patrons, these scintillating summer soirees sell out in a snap. No matter where you sit, two huge LED video screens on either side of the outdoor stage help the viewing. And Feinstein’s off-the-cuff, friendly, intimate style will have you feel as though this was a hep hippie hangout (admittedly a ginormous hangout with thousands of flower-power guests). So don your tie-dye shirts, love beads, and headbands, and get turned on by The Man who can sock it to ya!

previous courtesy of Pasadena POPS

The Summer of Love: Michael Feinstein Sings the Hits of the ’60s
Michael Feinstein & the Pasadena POPS
Pasadena Symphony; Larry Blank, conductor
Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia
for info and tickets, call 626.793.7172 or visit Pasadena POPS

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