After hearing Hugh Panaro perform with the Houston Symphony, local resident Victoria Tinsley traveled with a friend to New York City in March 2012 to see Panaro in the Broadway production of “Phantom of the Opera.” The trip was a success, and the two friends even got to meet the star after the show.
“I’d seen ‘Phantom’ before, but this was my first time seeing it on Broadway and it was amazing!” Tinsley said.
Tinsley, who plays first violin with the Kingwood Pops Orchestra (KPO), is thrilled that Panaro — along with two other Broadway vocalists, LaKisha Jones and Scarlett Strallen — will be joining the orchestra in a special performance of “BRAVO Broadway!” April 30.
“I am so excited that Hugh is joining KPO for this concert and that I will have the opportunity to perform with him,” she said. While Tinsley has not seen productions starring Jones or Strallen, she said she is equally honored to be performing with these artists. “We always have music on in our house, and Broadway songs are some of our favorites to sing and dance to,” she said. “I’ve heard recordings of both LaKisha and Scarlett and I cannot wait to perform with them live. This concert is such a great mix of music and is so much fun to play.”
“BRAVO Broadway!” is unlike any other concert in KPO’s 27-year history. The orchestra will accompany Panaro, Jones and Strallen on songs from a variety of Broadway musicals, including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Chicago,” “Lion King,” “The Wiz,” “Cabaret” and “Les Misérables.” The Lone Star College-Kingwood choral group EVOK will bring another musical dimension to the performance.
While Panaro is known for his performances in “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Misérables,” Jones earned instant notoriety in 2007 when she became an “American Idol” finalist. She later made her Broadway debut in “The Color Purple.” Strallen, who has starred both on Broadway and in London’s West End, has appeared in such shows as “Travesties,” “Mary Poppins” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.”
Dr. Robert Hunt, KPO’s conductor, has called the concert a “gift to the community.” So that many can enjoy this gift, tickets are priced at $15 for adults and $1 for children 10 and under. KPO is grateful to H-E-B for its sponsorship, which has helped the orchestra fund this special event. The concert is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Woodridge Baptist Church of Kingwood, located at 5707 Kingwood Drive. Tickets are available at kingwoodpops.org.
“This is a KPO event you won’t want to miss!” Tinsley said. While she is thrilled to be performing with such esteemed vocalists, she is also looking forward to sharing this concert with her family. “As a trip to Broadway and New York City is not feasible for us right now, I am so excited that my two young sons will have the opportunity to hear such wonderful and talented Broadway stars right here in Kingwood,” she said. “KPO concerts are a fantastic way to introduce kids to live music performances.”