Three of the five biggest concerts of the Pasadena Pops 2013 summer season on June 29, July 13, and Aug. 10 will go head-to-head with three of the first four most popular performances of the California Philharmonic’s Festival on the Green across the street next summer.
The always popular Beatles concerts on different nights by both orchestras will face direct competition from their competitor, forcing fans to choose between the two rather than having the option of attending the best shows of each group. The Pops will have high-profile Bernadette Peters in Concert at the L.A. County Arboretum on June 29 against Cal Phil’s always-popular opening night Beatles, Beach Boys and Beethoven show featuring tribute band The Fab Four on the infield of the Santa Anita Park race track.
The Pops’ Classical Mystery Tour: Music of the Beatles on Aug 10 will compete with another popular Cal Phil program of Rodgers, Hammerstein and Gershwin.
A public hearing will be held at the regular City Council meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday, Oct. 16) to consider Cal Phil’s 2013 dates. The Council has yet to formally consider the issue of conflicting concerts but has no jurisdiction over the Pops concerts since those are staged on the property of the County-owned Arboretum. City staff told ArcadiasBest,com that no problems are foreseen in terms of policing or traffic since the entry point for Cal Phil is on the east side of Santa Anita at Gate 6 and the north parking lot, not Gate 8 directly across the street from the Arboretum.
But City officials do have concerns about potential patron confusion over which venue is playing which concert program on the same night, and the dilution of the customer base of these two summer series. The City has met with representatives from both groups and hopes to help work out a schedule in 2014 that has fewer conflicting dates..
Lora Unger, general manager of the Pasadena Symphony and Pops, told ArcadiasBest.com that the Pops is “committed to being friendly neighbors and will make best efforts to avoid date conflicts where possible in the future…and do what is necessary to avoid confusion amongst customers next summer.” She said her organization is “OK” with the overlapping dates this year. “We gave the city our dates at the beginning of August not knowing Cal Phil’s schedule or history of their process,” she said.
Although three of the five 2013 summer concert programs of the Pops have been changed under new conductor Michael Feinstein, only one actual date was been changed — Michael Feinstein’s Songbook on June 8 will replace Hamlisch’s planned Simply Sinatra on June 1. That was not a date that was in conflict with Cal Phil concert dates on the previously-announced schedule under the late Marvin Hamlisch.
Two weeks after the June 29 duel, the two orchestras will face off again July 13 when the Pops present Michael Feinstein’s MGM — changed from the previously announced Wicked Divas — and Cal Phil presents Andrew Lloyd Webber Meets Puccini the same evening.
Representatives from the Pops say that Peters was booked long ago and her schedule is not flexible enough to allow for a change in date. Unger said the Pops first announced their 2013 schedule July 27.
Cal Phil did not respond to requests for comment but the orchestra historically opens its season on the last Saturday of June, followed by concerts every two weeks thereafter.
- Pops – Michael Feinstein’s Songbook
- Cal Phil – Beatles, Beach Boys & Beethoven
- Pops – Bernadette Peters in Concert
- Cal Phil – Andrew Lloyd Webber meets Puccini
- Pops – Michael Feinstein’s MGM Movie Classics
- Cal Phil – Dance Fever
- Cal Phil – Rodgers, Hammerstein & Gershwin
- Pops - Classical Mystery Tour: Music of the Beatles
- Cal Phil – Bernstein on Broadway
- Pops – Michael Feinstein: The Gershwins & Me
– By Scott Hettrick