Marvin Hamlisch earned a special place in the heart of Western New York over the years he was the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal pops conductor, thanks to the concerts he conducted here before and after that appointment. His death in August 2012 was a shock and a sorrow, as people thought back to all the entertaining times we shared with him. On Saturday, the Buffalo Philharmonic is going to remember the way we were.
Conducted by Associate Conductor Matthew Kraemer, the concert features several singers Hamlisch brought to Kleinhans Music Hall. Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” joined Hamlisch more than once on the Kleinhans stage, and will be here Saturday. The evening also will include the fine Broadway tenor Doug LaBrecque, whose appearances in the Hamlisch era were always anticipated.
The third singer is Donna McKechnie. Now 72, McKechnie inspired and created the starring role of Cassie in “A Chorus Line,” and was married for a time to Michael Bennett, who wrote the show with Hamlisch. She also was featured on Broadway in “Promises, Promises,” a collaboration between Bennett and Burt Bacharach. McKechnie has not been here in recent recollection, and her appearance will be a rare treat as well as a tribute to Hamlisch who, through his work with the BPO, brought Broadway to our backyard.
The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Tickets are $28-$76. For more information, call 885-5000.
– Mary Kunz Goldman