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A Broadway finale

Richey Community Orchestra's last show of the season will be a "Salute to Andrew Lloyd Webber."

By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2000


A concert sure to be a favorite of fans of Broadway is Sunday's "Salute to Andrew Lloyd Webber" by the Richey Community Orchestra and singers Irv Clark and Friends.

Webber was the first composer to have three hits running simultaneously on Broadway: Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Starlight Express.

"Irv Clark and the other soloists are rehearsing with us every Monday," said Denise Isaacson, publicist for the orchestra. The program includes excerpts from Cats, Evita, Sunset Boulevard, Aspects of Love, Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera and others, some with singers, others by the orchestra alone.

"One especially interesting number, not performed often, will be Pie Jesu from Webber's Requiem," Ms. Isaacson said. The singers for that number are soprano Suzanne Ruley and 11-year-old Shannon Steger, a student at Westside Elementary in Spring Hill and voice pupil of Paula Gerding.

Another rarely heard Webber song, Unexpected Love from 1995's Whistle Down the Wind, will be performed by Ms. Ruley. The allegorical musical is based on the 1961 movie of the same name, but has been transported to 1950s south Louisiana.

Other singers are Shirley Button and Monica Mills. Ms. Button will perform Love Changes Everything from Aspects of Love; Ms. Mills will sing I Don't Know How to Love Him from Jesus Christ, Superstar.

The singers will combine for a medley from Phantom of the Opera, featuring Clark.

Returning for her second stint as conductor of the orchestra is Deidre Reigel. Ms. Reigel also conducts and is musical director for the Summit Orchestra and Singers in Largo. She has been musical conductor for several shows, including The Goodbye Girl and Fiddler on the Roof.

The concert on Sunday is the final show in the Richey Community Orchestra's 1999-2000 season.

At a glance

  • WHAT: "Salute to Andrew Lloyd Webber" by the Richey Community Orchestra.

  • WHERE: Center for the Arts at River Ridge, Town Center Road, New Port Richey.

  • WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday TICKETS: $8 all seats. Box office is at 6827 Amberjack Lane, Hudson. Call (727) 863-0068 or 868-3812.

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