For summer 2011, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts has crafted a season that's easy to remember - and sure to be memorable.
Three renowned orchestras will each claim a three (consecutive) night stand boasting special-to-the-Mann mixed media spectaculars and classical blockbusters with broad appeal. Plus, the Mann's contemporary concert series assembled with AEG Live has never been peachier.
On the third night of the Philadelphia Orchestra's June 28-30 stand, it will travel "Down the Abbey Road" celebrating the Beatles classic with newly commissioned charts and special guests Joan Osbourne and the Waybacks helping carry that weight.
Second night of the Pittsburgh Symphony's July 9-11 run offers a mix of comedy and music specially frothed by funny bunny Martin Short and composer/pianist Marvin Hamlisch.
First night of the Russian National Orchestra's stand, July 27, delivers a sight-'n'-sound treat in "The BBC's Blue Video Spectacular" with a luminous score to match the visuals and live narration by Jane Pauley. Next night, "Cirque de la Symphonie" mixes Slavic sonic splendors with a performing troupe of aerial flyers and acrobats, many alumni of Cirque du Soleil.
The Mann kicks off its season tomorrow with a free family daytime festival, "Philadelphia On Parade." The official opening night, June 23, brings on the 300-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
Other headliners grabbing our attention: Willie Nelson (5/27), The Script (6/3), Bright Eyes (6/10), Owl City (6/25), R Kelly (7/3), Kid Cudi (7/7), Miranda Cosgrove (7/22), An Evening with Furthur (7/23), Death Cab for Cutie (8/5), Chick Corea with Return To Forever IV (8/10), Selena Gomez (8/19), the O'Jays, Four Tops and Stylistics (8/24), Roger Daltrey performing "Tommy" (9/21), Du Yun (9/23) and Ray La Montagne (9/30). More are still to be announced.
Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue. Find tix and show details at www.manncenter.org or 800-745-3000.