Orchestra, comedian join forces for animal-themed performances

Concert to feature works by Rossini, Mussorgsky

March 15, 2001|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Dance, theater, painting and sculpture exist to create actual physical images for their viewers.

But in music, as in old-time radio, it's up to listeners to create those images for themselves.

The power of musical imagery will be on display for youngsters and their parents Sunday at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts when the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra presents a pair of family concerts, at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

During this program of musical selections inspired by the animal kingdom, a wonderfully funny zookeeper will arrive searching for Elmer, the runaway elephant.

The zookeeper, to be played by comedian Dan Kamin, will strike a bargain with ASO conductor Leslie Dunner: The zookeeper will help the audience visualize various animals in music, and in return, the orchestra will set a musical trap to lure the missing elephant to the concert hall.

Portions of Camille Saint-Saens' delightful "Carnival of the Animals," Rossini's "William Tell Overture," Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Flight of the Bumblebee," Mussorgsky's "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" from "Pictures at an Exhibition," and Leroy Anderson's "Waltzing Cat" are some of the works that will be played in the 50-minute concerts.

Kamin has created physical comedy routines for the films "Benny and Joon" and "Chaplin." He also created Martian movement for Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks," and played a wooden Italian who came to life in the cult film "Creepshow 2."

He has played the zookeeper role with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

To promote the Annapolis Symphony Family Concerts, Kamin will appear at the Center Court of Annapolis Mall at 2 p.m. Saturday.

"Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it," Aristotle wrote in "Politics."

The local orchestra, it appears, quite agrees with that wisdom of ancient Athens.

The young and young at heart are encouraged to share these musical adventures with the Annapolis Symphony. Seating is reserved. Tickets are $8 for children and $10 for adults. Information: 410-263- 0907.

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