Returning to the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center after a long absence, the Maui Pops Orchestra opens its 2021-22 season with a special “Holiday Pops” concert with Broadway star Dee Roscioli on Sunday.
With Jim Durham conducting the Maui Pops Orchestra, Roscioli will celebrate the holiday season by performing favorites such as “Winter Wonders” and “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
“We are really excited to be able to do it again in front of a live audience,” said Pops executive director Cheryl Lindley. “Our last live concert was on March 8, 2020. We walked in just before it all came to a halt. We’re really excited to bring Dee Roscioli to play some familiar Christmas tunes, and we’ll be doing some band-only stuff, including the “Festive Sounds of Hanukkah” medley.
Roscioli is best known for her starring role as Elphaba in the hit musical “Nasty.” She holds the all-time American record for most professional performance in the role. Her other roles have included Grizabella in a national tour of the musical “Cats,” and Fruma-Sarah in the 2015 Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.” A Leigh Valley Press review of her performance of “Avoid” rented: “Roscioli is remarkable. She “has the uncanny ability on stage to really become any character she plays.”
The season continues on January 23 with “Broadway Pops” with Morgan James and Ben Davis. They will perform with the Maui Pops Orchestra in a celebration of Broadway music and movies, including “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” “I could have danced all night” “Falling from the Sky” and “Some enchanted evening.”
“We don’t have the specific directory yet” said Lindley, who is the Pops’ lead cellist. “We had a loosely planned season and we were waiting to see if things would open up. We had our guest artists on hold, but only found out about a month ago that we were going to be able to do a season.
James and Davis will make their Maui debuts.
“Both have done work in television and film as well as Broadway,” Lindley explained. “Morgan James is very popular. She does Postmodern Jukebox stuff. Ben Davis was just in ‘Annie Live’ on TV.
Maui-born famed Hawaiian slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson will team up with the orchestra on February 20 for a “Winter Pops” concert, with a program that will include the Maui premiere of his work, “Concerto for Slack Key Guitar and Orchestra, Malama Aina.”
“We are so excited to have Jeff play,” she says. “His concerto had its mainland debut and was performed by the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, but this is the first time it will be performed on Maui. It is an absolutely beautiful piece. We are thrilled to do that with him, and we’ll play a few other things with him.
The season ends March 13 with a “Spring Pops” concert, featuring Sarah Uriarte Berry and a “Tribute to Judy Garland and her friends.” Along with familiar Garland songs, Berry will feature related compositions by artists like Barbara Streisand who drew inspiration from Garland.
An accomplished Broadway, television and film actress, Berry made her Broadway debut as Eponine in “Wretched,” then played the role of Belle twice in “The beauty and the Beast.” She held the title role in “Cinderella” with the New York City Opera, and was a soloist in Bernstein “Mass” at Carnegie Hall with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Berry debuted with her one-woman show, “For the Love of Judy”, in 2015. She told PBS: “I’ve always been amazed and tried to emulate Judy’s ability to communicate a song’s lyrics and her total connection with her audience.”
“She is incredible, an incredible talent” Lindley said. “We are really excited to bring her back. Sarah came on as a replacement for our January 2020 gig, and she was amazing. She blew everyone away.
All Maui Pops concerts begin at 3 p.m. and will be non-interrupted with digital programming. Tickets are $22, $35, $50 and $60 (plus applicable fees). Tickets for students 18 and under are half price, except for $22 tickets. Customers who purchase tickets for all four Maui Pops 2021-22 series receive a 10% discount. Tickets for all four concerts must be purchased together to qualify for the discount, which does not apply to $22 tickets. Tickets are available on MauiArts.org.
All customers are required to show proof of vaccination and masks are mandatory.