Press 2014-01-14 (1)
Baltimore, Md. (January 14, 2014) – Hosted by George Takei and led by Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) presents Sci‐Fi Spectacular!, Thursday, February 20 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, and Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22 at 8p.m. and Sunday, February 23 at 3p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
George Takei, best known for his role as Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series Star Trek, has become a social media phenomenon in recent years, with nearly 5.7 million Facebook “likes” and more than 900,000 followers on Twitter. Last performed for Baltimore audiences in 2008, the Sci‐Fi Spectacular! features musical selections from science fiction’s best films and television programs, including Star Wars, E.T.: The Extra‐Terrestrial and Star Trek. George Takei, narrator and host Actor, author, social media mega‐power and social justice activist. George Takei has risen from internment camp inmate to one of the most recognizable voices in America, calling for equal rights and social change.
Born George Hosato Takei in April 1937, George was born in Los Angeles and lived the first few years of his life there. During World War II, however, George and his family were imprisoned in an internment camp named Rohwer in the swamps of southeast Arkansas, then later were relocated to a camp in the desolate, harsh region of Northern California called Tule Lake. George moved back to L.A. after the war, graduating from Los Angeles High School in 1956. He earned a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley in 1960 and an M.A. in 1964.
George began his acting career in the late 1950s, but his breakthrough role came in 1965 as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek. George starred in three seasons of Star Trek and, beginning in 1979, reprised his iconic role in six Star Trek movies. In the 2000s, George increasingly became a symbol for and an outspoken advocate of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As an openly gay man, he became a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s “Coming Out” project and in 2006, embarked upon a nationwide speaking tour called Equality Trek, where he talked about his life, his relationship with his now‐husband Brad Takei and encouraging others to share their own personal stories. As the unofficial “King of Facebook,” George now has nearly 5.7 million Facebook “likes” (and more than 900,000 Twitter followers), and uses his reach to continue to call for equal rights for the LGBT community, among other social justice issues.
Educating the public about the Japanese American internment during World War II is also a passion for George. In 2012, at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, he starred in the musical Allegiance, a groundbreaking musical about the Japanese American internment. George calls Allegiance his legacy project and the musical is bound for Broadway in 2014.
Jack Everly, conductor
Jack Everly is the principal pops conductor of the Baltimore and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), and the music director of the National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth on PBS. He has been on stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and appears regularly with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center. His frequent guest conducting engagements include the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Oklahoma City and this season with The Philadelphia Orchestra at The Mann Center. Everly is the music director of Yuletide Celebration, now a 26‐year tradition. These theatrical symphonic holiday concerts are presented annually in December in Indianapolis and are seen by more than 40,000 concert‐goers. He led the ISO in its first Pops recording, Yuletide Celebration, Volume One, that included three of his own arrangements.
Originally appointed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, Everly was conductor of the American Ballet Theatre for 14 years, where he served as music director. In addition to his ABT tenure, he teamed with Marvin Hamlisch in Broadway shows that Mr. Hamlisch scored including, The Goodbye Girl, They’re Playing Our Song and A Chorus Line. He conducted Carol Channing hundreds of times in Hello, Dolly! in two separate
Everly has conducted the songs for Disney’s animated classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame and led the Czech Philharmonic on the recordings In the Presence, featuring tenor Daniel Rodriguez and Sandi Patty’s 2011 release Broadway Stories. He also conducted the critically‐praised Everything’s Coming Up Roses: The Complete Overtures of Broadway’s Jule Styne, and was music director for numerous Broadway cast recordings.
In 1998, Everly created the Symphonic Pops Consortium, serving as music director. The Consortium, based in Indianapolis, produces new theatrical pops programs, and in the past 13 years, more than 250 performances of SPC programs have taken place across the U.S. and Canada. Maestro Everly holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Franklin College in his home state of Indiana.
Kristin Plumley, vocalist
Connecticut native Kristen Plumley brings her joy of being on stage to every role she performs. Lauded as “sensationally note‐perfect” (St. Petersburg Times), “a roguish comedienne” (The Middletown) and “Met‐worthy” (The Dallas Morning News), Ms. Plumley has portrayed Adina (LʹElisir dʹAmore) and Gilda (Rigoletto) with Greensboro Opera Company, Musetta (La bohème) with Amarillo Opera, Norina
(Don Pasquale) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Virginia Opera, Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) with New York City Opera, Despina (Così fan Tutte) with Lyric Opera of Cleveland, the Sultan of Egypt (Glück’s Les Pelerins de la Mecque) with L’Opéra Français de New York, Yum‐Yum (The Mikado) with Opera Memphis and Josephine (H.M.S. Pinafore) with Nevada Opera.
On the concert stage, Ms. Plumley has performed a broad spectrum of works, including Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War and Handelʹs Sing Unto God with the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. Additionally, she has sung Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Elgar’s For the Fallen, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity and Bach’s Cantata No. 1 across the U.S., as well as Jack Everlyʹs Sci‐Fi Spectacular with the Cleveland, Indianapolis and Seattle Symphonies.
Enthusiastic about contemporary works, she has been active in many new operas at Canada’s prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts and in companies throughout New York. Ms. Plumley received an artist diploma in opera from the Hartt School of Music and a bachelor of arts in psychology and music from Holy Cross College. Twice a winner in the Connecticut Opera Guild Scholarship Competition, she is also a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant (Shoshana Foundation).
COMPLETE PROGRAM DETAILS
Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8p.m. – The Music Center at Strathmore
Friday, February 21, 2014 at 8p.m. – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 8p.m. – JMSH
Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 3p.m. – JMSH
Jack Everly, conductor
George Takei, narrator and host
Kristin Plumley, vocalist
The Sci‐Fi‐Ettes, vocal ensemble
Tickets range from $29 to $94 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or