The Mann and The Philly POPS Present: Memorial Salute Concert
Michael Krajewski, music director
Allison Blackwell & Hugh Panaro, vocalists
For the first time ever, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts and The Philly POPS will present Memorial Salute, a concert honoring the American tradition of service on Saturday, May 28 during Memorial Day weekend. In celebration of all those who serve, complimentary tickets will be given to 2,000 veterans, active military, Philadelphia police and fire departments, and their families.
Native Philadelphians and guest vocalists Allison Blackwell and Hugh Panaro will join Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece POPS orchestra for an unforgettable evening. Blackwell is currently a cast member of the Lion King on Broadway and recently brought down the house with her performance Natural Woman during the POPS’ Carole King concert series. Panaro played the role of the Phantom in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times and became a POPS fan favorite following his performance in the popular Christmas show in 2014.
Low cost tickets will be available undercover in the pavilion or on the Great Lawn where attendees will be able to bring blankets and picnic dinners. Tickets ranging $15-$25 will help to offset the cost of hosting the veterans, military and first responders at this community-focused event.
Guest vocalist Hugh Panaro spent many of his formative years living in Philadelphia. An East Oak Lane resident, he began performing at the age of 13 and studied voice with Robert Grooters at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance. He was quickly drawn to Broadway, where he made his debut in Les Miserables as Marius, a role he originated in the first U.S. national touring company. He has performed in many theatrical performances on Broadway and throughout the country, performed with various symphonies, and toured with Barbra Streisand, but he might be best known for his performances in Phantom of the Opera. He is one of the few actors to play both the roles of Raoul (1991) and the Phantom (1999) in the Broadway production.
Allison is thrilled to be back singing in her hometown. Raised in the suburbs of Wyndmoor, outside Philadelphia, she attended Springfield Township High School in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. A versatile range from opera to gospel, she was last seen with the Philly POPS this past winter in The Carole King Songbook with Liz Callaway and Bryce Ryness. She made her Broadway debut in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess starring six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier. For her second Broadway show, as Aretha Franklin in A Night with Janis Joplin, USA TODAY wrote: “Allison Blackwell, who veers from a stunning operatic reading of Summertime to a shivery, booming impersonation of Aretha Franklin.” She recently finished a successful run in The Lion King on Broadway. Allison has performed across the nation with various symphonies and has been seen in two Live from Lincoln Center productions: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson (2015 Emmy Award Outstanding Special Class Program) and Show Boat starring Vanessa Williams. Proud graduate of Spelman College (B.A) and The Boston Conservatory (M.M).
If you are 21 years of age or older and plan to consume alcohol at the concert, please be prepared to present proper I.D. There is no re-entry once exiting the facility. Picnics are permitted for this performance as a part of the Mann's Summer Picnic Series.