HOUSTON (April 24, 2017) – The Houston Symphony celebrates the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss with a semi-staged, orchestral version of “Green Eggs and Ham” at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017. Led by Associate Conductor Robert Franz, the animated, fun-filled celebration of Dr. Seuss at the Symphony will also feature familiar music from animated television classics and lively musical works that capture the imagination.
Guest vocalists Lauren Pastorek and Kelly Lomonte will join the orchestra in the orchestral adaptation of the popular children’s book. With unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, this beloved favorite by Dr. Seuss has cemented its place as a children’s classic. Nearly six decades after its initial publication, the book remains a best-selling children’s book.
A native Houstonian, Pastorek was an original cast member in the off-Broadway production of The Marvelous Wonderettes. She has appeared in the national tours of Oklehoma! and My Fair Lady, at the Kennedy Center in Carnival!, and as a soloist with the Houston Grand Opera in the premiere of On This Muddy Water. Lomonte, a high school sophomore and student at the Humphreys School of Musical Theater, has been featured in Theatre Under the Stars’ productions of Mary Poppins, A Christmas Story, The Music Man, Oliver!, and Hairspray, among others. Both Pastorek and Lomonte will be making their Houston Symphony debuts.
Dr. Seuss, whose real name is Theodor Seuss Geisel, published over 60 books during his career, spawning numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. His work includes several of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies that were translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death 25 years ago. Geisel’s honors include an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, a Peabody Award, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal.
Also on the program is Rossini’s ever-popular Overture to The Barber of Seville, iconic cartoon music like the Looney Tunes Overture and “The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones” theme. With its trotting rhythm reminiscent of peaceful, country roads, Leroy Anderson’s vivid musical snapshot of Americana, Horse and Buggy, will be featured alongside the timpani rolls and cymbal crashes of Thunder and Lightning by Johan Strauss Jr.
An instrument petting zoo, which allows children to hold and play orchestral instruments, as well as a craft activity will be offered in the lobby beginning one hour before the 10 a.m. concert and immediately following the 11:30 a.m. concert. Concertgoers are encouraged to come in Dr. Seuss-inspired costumes.
The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.
- SEUSS AT THE SYMPHONY
with music from green eggs and ham
Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 10 a.m.
Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 11:30 a.m.
Robert Franz, conductor
Lauren Pastorek, vocalist
Kelly Lomonte, vocalist
Humphreys School of Musical Theater
Sam Brown, director
Tickets from $22
About Robert Franz
As Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Robert Franz leads the Symphony in a broad range of creative educational and family concerts. At the 2016 Houston Symphony Ball, Robert was presented with the Raphael Fliegel Award for Visionary Leadership.
Winner of two Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming accolades, presented by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Robert galvanizes young audiences with programming celebrating the diverse cultural make up of Greater Houston. Highlights include the world premiere of music from the iconic TV series Schoolhouse Rock! for orchestra. During his tenure, attendance at educational concerts has almost doubled. Reaching out to the community, Robert led highly successful side-by-side events giving musicians from the Texas Medical Center Orchestra and the Houston Civic Symphony the opportunity to perform with the Houston Symphony.
Robert also serves as music director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra and previously served as music director of the Boise Philharmonic. In increasing demand as a guest conductor, his upcoming and recent guest conducting engagements include the Cleveland Orchestra; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; St. Louis, Phoenix and Victoria Symphonies; Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina in Italy.
Robert received his master’s degree in conducting and his bachelor’s degree in oboe performance, both from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
When he’s not on the podium, Robert is an avid runner and a proponent of the Alexander technique as a way to move mindfully through life. For more information, please visit www.robertfranz.com.
About Lauren Pastorek
Lauren Pastorek is a native Houstonian who has recently returned home after two decades of performing as a singer/dancer/actress across the United States and Canada. She is thrilled to be making her debut with the Houston Symphony after growing up as a member of the Symphony family. Her parents, musicians Red and Christine Pastorek, recently retired from the Symphony after a combined 95 years of service.
Lauren starred off-Broadway in the original NYC cast of The Marvelous Wonderettes, was on the first national tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s Oklahoma!, the national tour of The Will Rogers Follies, and the North American tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s My Fair Lady. Lauren was featured at The Kennedy Center in Carnival!, and she appeared in productions at New York City’s Town Hall, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, and Encores! at the New York City Center, as well as numerous regional houses across the country including TUTS, Denver Theatre Center and The Ohio Light Opera. Lauren was a leading mezzo for two seasons with The Opera Company of Brooklyn, and she was the first grand prize winner of the prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition. Recently, she had the honor of premiering On This Muddy Water as the mezzo soloist with the Houston Grand Opera, and she premiered a set of songs on guitar as a part of HGOco’s Veterans Songbook.
Her recent directing credits include The Addams Family and Legally Blonde at Miller Outdoor Theatre and Into the Woods with HITS Theatre; choreography credits include La Rondine at the Moores School of Music and How to Succeed in Business… at Texas A&M University–Commerce. Lauren is currently the Director of Theatre at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School in Houston.
Lauren graduated summa cum laude from Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree and received her Master of Music degree from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
About Kelly Lomonte
Kelly Lomonte is thrilled to be performing with the Houston Symphony for the first time. Kelly is a sophomore at the Laurel Springs School and a student at Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. Her credits include Theatre Under the Stars’ productions of Mary Poppins (Jane Banks), A Christmas Story (Mary Beth), The Music Man, Oliver!, James and the Giant Peach (Spider), Hairspray (Amber von Tussle) and Bring It On. Kelly has also appeared in Wildfish Theatre’s productions of Heathers (Heather Duke), Next to Normal (Natalie), Edges, The Wiz (Dorothy), Seussical (Bird Girl), Bat Boy (Shelley) and A Chorus Line (Val). She has appeared in iTheatrics Broadway Jr. Choreography DVDs and the film Sometimes. Kelly thanks her friends, teachers and family for their constant support.
About the Houston Symphony
During the 2016-17 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its third season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada, and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.