By Angelique Gammon
The season finale of a banner year deserves a blockbuster finish, and that is exactly what the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra has planned with the “A Little Bit WICKED” concert on April 30. This decidedly pops performance will feature two Wicked Divas who played Elphaba and Glinda in the Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning musical Wicked. As the capstone concert of the Symphony’s 35th season and of Music Director Marcelo Bussiki’s 20th year leading the orchestra, the night is designed to delight. Those who already know and love the BVSO will be as enchanted as those who are attending their first symphony concert for the rare opportunity to hear Broadway singers right here in Bryan College Station.
“It was a conscious decision that we really needed one program that was completely ‘pops’ to give
diversity to the season,” explains Bussiki. “I think it’s going to be lots of fun with selections from Broadway shows such as Chicago, Phantom, and Wicked. It will be great, and something to bring in an even broader audience.”
The smash hit musical Wicked has been running for 14 years straight on Broadway and has been dubbed, “A cultural phenomenon,” by Variety and, “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster,” by the New York Times. The bewitching Wicked Divas Alli Mauzey and Dee Roscioli will sing breakout hits from the wildly popular production as well as selections from other Broadway favorites including Phantom of the Opera and Chicago.
“The Wicked musical is one of my personal favorites,” says BVSO Executive Director Mary Koeninger, “and I can’t wait to hear the Wicked Divas sing these iconic songs. I have listened to recordings of both of these fabulous singers, and I was blown away with their portrayals in Wicked. I am certain they will do great justice to all the Broadway hits they will perform with us – and I’m positive it’s going to be wicked good.”
Bringing in renowned Broadway vocalists is a step out for the symphony, acknowledges Koeninger, but also logical in the BVSO’s growth and development over 35 seasons. “The symphony has matured and is able to afford to do things not done in the past,” says Koeninger, “including bringing people who will be so exciting to the community. This show is one of the most incredible that’s ever been on Broadway, and the voices of the women are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring to our community. You don’t have to fly to New York or drive to Houston!”
Koeninger encourages those without season tickets to purchase tickets early for “A Little Bit WICKED” as interest already has been high and tickets are selling “very, very fast.”
Many factors have come together to make “A Little Bit WICKED” possible, says Koeninger, from the caliber of the professional symphony musicians to the quality and dedication of the symphony board of directors. “[Marcelo] is an incredible conductor,” says Koeninger. “A lot of professional musicians come because Marcelo is here. They can play anywhere; they choose to come here, and they’ve told me this, because of Marcelo. They love that he comes from a stance of encouragement.
“We have a great board, and great audiences. All this costs money. This board works so hard and they believe in the symphony. It takes quality and excitement and ability to pull off these things.”
How to Get A Little Bit WICKED!
When Sunday, April 30, 5pm
Where Rudder Auditorium, Texas A&M University Campus in College Station
Tickets Individual tickets are on sale at the MSC Box Office. Regular prices are $39/adult and $13/student advance; $44/adult and $16/student at the door. Call (979) 845-1234 or visit boxoffice.tamu.edu to purchase. Visit bvso.org for more information or call the Symphony office at (979) 696-6100 with further questions.
Kander Introduction and All That Jazz from Chicago
Webber Think Of Me from Phantom of the Opera
Horner & Jennings My Heart Will Go On from Titanic
Schwartz Popular, Defying Gravity, and For Good from WICKED
And many more Broadway hits!
By Marcelo Bussiki, Music Director BVSO
These 20 years with the BVSO have been a great source of pride and joy. I get particularly excited investing on the year-to-year work towards greater excellence; I suppose, like when making music, I love the process as much as I love the final product.
I had many memorable moments over the 20 years, but maybe the strongest of them precede my appointment as music director. It was the crystal clear moment when, after a rehearsal with the orchestra as a substitute conductor, the seed of possibility was planted. That moment changed my life. The opportunity to apply for the job did not come until a couple of years after that day over 20 years ago.
The BVSO is undergoing a deep process of transformation and maturity. We are a vibrant, harmonious, and exciting place to make music and be creative. The level of community support, although steady over the years, has reached a new level, and I think that we are ready to explore additional paths. I would like for that expanded vision to include growing our pops programing. There is a potential segment of the Bryan College Station community that, I think, would like to be offered additional events like our “Little Bit WICKED” show that we are producing in April. If all goes as planned this current season and the next, I think that we are ready to move towards additional pops shows.
Alli Mauzey last appeared on Broadway as Glinda in the 10th Anniversary company of Wicked, a role she also performed to critical acclaim on the First National Tour and the San Francisco Company. Other Broadway credits include Brenda in Hairspray, and Lenora in the musical Cry-Baby, for which she won a Theatre World Award and was nominated for a Drama League Award. Alli also has performed many concerts with symphony orchestras across the country including playing Ellie in Show Boat with the New York Philharmonic and the title role in Cinderella alongside the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
Dee Roscioli will be Alli’s partner for the BVSO Wicked Divas presentation. Dee is best known for her portrayal of Elphaba in Broadway’s hit Wicked. She has performed this role on Broadway, in Chicago, and across the U.S. and holds the distinction of having performed Elphaba in more performances than any other actress. Additional New York credits include The 24-Hour Musicals, Murder Ballad (Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club), and Therapy Rocks (NYMF). She has also performed Grizabella in the National Tour of Cats.
The symphony was created in 1981 through the merger of two smaller community music organizations – the Brazos Symphony Orchestra and the Bryan/College Station Chamber Orchestra. The Brazos Valley Symphony Society, a nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of Texas, was also created to develop, establish, and maintain the symphony as an organization of high artistic standards.
Each season, the orchestra performs five classical subscription concerts, two children’s concerts, a holiday pops concert, and a free outdoor concert at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Originally founded as a community orchestra with volunteer musicians, beginning in 2005 the symphony is now comprised solely of professional musicians from across Texas.