"Symphonic Spectacular" with the Long Beach Symphony
In March of 2017 Elliott created the projections and theatrical elements for SYMPHONIC SPECTACULAR with the Long Beach Symphony conducted by Michael Krajewski at the Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA.
The program includes popular classical favorites with large scale images. Can Can William Tell Tribute to John Williams Waltz of the Flowers Beach Boys Medley Flight of the Bumble Bee American The Beautiful Wedding March . . . and more!
The use of the screens for visuals was amazing and added a whole new dimension to the performance. I just let the music and visuals waft over me and got completely lost in the beauty of it all. Bobbie Cusato, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra Board Member
The good news is that our teen aged grandchildren enjoyed the program so much that they stayed at the table for the entire thing instead of wandering up to the loge to play games on their phones. They even texted their parents that they really liked it! So, it was the perfect program for them! Margie Masterson, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra Board Member
Remember music videos and MTV? Saturday's POPS! concert at the Long Beach Arena wasn't quite that, but beloved POPS! conductor Michael Krajewski worked hard to make the audience watch the big screens with "Symphonic Spectacular: See the Music!" Krajewski served as Long Beach's principal POPS! conductor for 15 years — 1994-2009 — and he was renowned for putting on an entertaining show, so a large audience was virtually assured. He paid off starting with his entrance to the "Rocky" theme complete with video of him recreating the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps run. Saturday's star was Krajewski and the videos put together by Elliott Forrest. The mix of abstract and nature was no big surprise as the orchestra played "Flight of the Bumblebee" and the "Waltz of the Flowers" from "The Nutcracker." (Yes, the "Fantasia" comparisons were there.) And there was plenty of patriotism in both "Yeager's Triumph from ‘The Right Stuff'" and the encore, "America The Beautiful." Ever ready to play to the home crowd, Krajewski offered up a Convention & Visitors Bureau-like montage of Long Beach to go along with a Beach Boys medley — was that surfing scene in the beginning a political commentary? — and pictures of Long Beach pets to go along with "Talk to the Animals." The tribute to John Williams relied on trailer-like clips, and satisfied the fans. Speaking of satisfying fans, Krajewski's slightly cornball humor was in fine form. He offered up Boeing VP Patrick Schirmer as a foil playing the glockenspiel for the "Pizzicato Polka," and came up with a colander-wire hanger-Christmas light contraption to read his thoughts for a cute video. There also was the video of royal weddings — some not so smooth — set to the "Wedding March." Oh, and then there was the orchestra. The players appeared to be as happy as the audience that Krajewski was back, offering spirited renditions of the spirited stuff, while providing nuance when it mattered. Harpist Caroline Reyes was the star of the night with her extended solo. The Long Beach Symphony will dip into its own past again for the June 10 Classical concert, bringing Joann Falletta back as a guest conductor. Falletta was the first woman to be named music director of a regional orchestra when she tool over the Long Beach Symphony in 1989, and brought the orchestra new recognition over her 11 years. If Falletta is anywhere near as successful as Krajewski with her homecoming, it will be a night to remember. Krajewski's certainly set the bar high. For information and tickets to POPS! and Classics concerts, go to www.longbeachsymphony.org. Harry Saltzgaver can be reached at email@example.com.