Pasadena, CAPrincipal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein puts down the conducting baton and picks up the microphone for one night only to sing the best of Cole Porter on Saturday, August 3 at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Spend an evening under the stars with the Pasadena POPS led by Resident Pops Conductor Larry Blank as Feinstein gives you a backstage pass into Porter’s world. Smart and sophisticated with a naughty boy’s streak for mischief, Porter was in that rare echelon of songwriters who wrote both words and music.

He roared through the 20’s dazzling the Paris social scene, dominated the Broadway stage through the 50’s, and remains wildly popular today with audiences of all ages humming along to his timeless songs. Feinstein delves into Porter’s witty sense of wordplay with “Night and Day,” “Begin the Beguine,” “I Get a Kick Out Of You,” “Can Can,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and so much more.

The multi-platinum-selling, Emmy and Grammy-nominated Feinstein is no stranger to Cole Porter’s songbook, having performed his music on many occasions including for his premiere performance with the POPS and conductor Marvin Hamlisch, who sadly passed away shortly after. Reflecting back, Michael says:

“Marvin was a great interpreter of American Popular music of every stripe and he particularly loved Cole Porter, so collaborating with him in 2012 was a heady experience … Marvin was at the piano and there was a lot of wit, joy and celebration that night. I hope to recreate some of that experience one more time as a tribute to his memory. We had done many duo shows through the years and became so close, so for me there will be a great deal of emotion attached to the performance, as I’m sure there will be as well for the orchestra and the audiences who knew and loved him.” 

Feinstein has planned a few special moments to make for an unforgettable evening, including the premiere of a Nelson Riddle arrangement of Porter’s “In the Still of the Night,” and a reprise of a few of the songs he performed with Marvin back in 2012. To top it all off, the legendary Emmy Award-winning Mitzi Gaynor will make a guest appearance. Star of South Pacific and the film and stage adaptations of Porter’s Anything Goes, as well as his final film musical Les Girls, Gaynor knew the composer during his lifetime and has volumes of personal experience to inform this exclusive performance.

All concerts are held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Grounds open for picnicking and dining at 5:30pm and performances begin at 7:30pm. Don’t miss the best outdoor dinner party in town with spacious circular table seating with fine linens, or lawn seating for those who want to bring a blanket – each option carries on the tradition of picnic-dining with your family and friends with Michael Feinstein and Pasadena’s premier orchestra. Among many venue amenities, concert goers can enjoy pre-ordered gourmet dining packages for on-site pickup just steps from their table from Julienne, Marston’s and Claud & Co. The venue also hosts mouth-watering food trucks and the convenience of two full beverage centers serving fine wines, beer, coffee and soft drinks.

arboretumAudiences get the ultimate outdoor concert experience with large LED video screens to see the artists and orchestra up close, superior sound and the high-quality production value that is a signature of the Pasadena POPS. For those who want to make a night of it, exclusive hotel packages are available for POPS patrons at Pasadena’s landmark Hotel Constance.

The Arboretum is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA. Subscribers may purchase pre-paid onsite parking at the Arboretum, and all concertgoers can purchase guaranteed and convenient parking at Santa Anita Park, located just across Baldwin Ave., with complimentary non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance.

Single tickets start at $25 and are available by calling the box office at (626)-793-7172, online at or at the Arboretum on the day of the concerts.

  • What: The Pasadena POPS presents Michael Feinstein Sings Cole Porter
    Michael Feinstein, soloist
    Larry Blank, conductor
    Mitzi Gaynor, soloist
  • When: August 3, 2019 at 7:30pm
  • Where: The LA County Arboretum | 301 N Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007
  • Cost: Tickets start at $25.00
  • Dining: Gates open at 5:30pm for picnicking. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink or visit one of the many onsite food vendors.
  • Parking: Subscribers have the opportunity to purchase onsite Arboretum parking. Single ticket holders may purchase guaranteed and convenient parking at Santa Anita Park, located just across Baldwin Ave., with non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance for $10.

Recent Acclaim for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS:

“The Pasadena Symphony signals a new direction…teeming with vitality…dripping with opulent, sexy emotion.” – Los Angeles Times.

“In his five years leading the PSO, Lockington has taken an ensemble that was already quite good and elevated it into one where excellence is the byword.” – Pasadena Star News.

Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talented, sought after musicians.  With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.

The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Internationally recognized, Grammy-nominated conductor, David Lockington, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association’s Music Director, with performance-practice specialist Nicholas McGegan serving as Principal Guest Conductor.  The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, is the Principal Pops Conductor, who succeeded Marvin Hamlisch in the newly created Marvin Hamlisch Chair.

A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO), comprised of five performing ensembles with 300 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region. The PYSO has toured internationally at prestigious venues in New York, Vienna, and most recently San Jose, Costa Rica. They regularly perform throughout Southern California and have appeared on the popular television show GLEE.

The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.

Michael Feinstein
Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe – in addition to his appearances at iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House – his work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.

In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Songbook Academy. This summer intensive open to students from across the country has produced graduates who have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas from Concord Records. The CD features Grammy Award -winning jazz pianist Alan Broadbent (Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole). Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released in 2011. He released the CDs The Power Of Two – collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek To Cheek, recorded with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. For Feinstein’s CD We Dreamed These Days, he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.

His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. The PBS series “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook,” the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award, was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS-TV Special, “New Year’s Eve at The Rainbow Room” written and directed by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry aired in 2014.  For his nationally syndicated public radio program “Song Travels,” Michael interviews and performs alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.

Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. Under Feinstein’s leadership, the Pasadena Pops has quickly become a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements.  He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014.

Michael’s book The Gershwins and Me – the Los Angeles Times best-seller from Simon & Schuster – features a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano.

Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Since 1999, he has served as Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall’s “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein” in conjunction with ASCAP. In 2010 he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Michael’s nightclub at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz since 2013. He debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below, his new club in New York, late in 2015. His first venue in New York, Feinstein’s at the Regency, featured major entertainers such as Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming from 1999 to 2012.

He has designed a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.

In 2013 Michael released Change Of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn in collaboration with four time Oscar and eleven time Grammy Award-winning composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn. The album celebrates Previn’s pop songs and motion picture classics. Earlier album highlights include Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of classics by Michael’s late friend Harry Warren, recording with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. His album with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb, was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.

Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously-unreleased tracks.

Michael was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.

Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.

Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Bob Merrill and Marshall Barer), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.

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Larry Blank

Resident Pops Conductor, Larry Blank is one of the most prolific and sought after composers, conductors, and orchestrators in the entertainment business today. His work has been presented all over the world, including some of Broadway’s most successful musicals, Carnegie Hall, and top television and film projects.

He was the Music Director/Conductor and/or vocal arranger for many shows on Broadway and in Los Angeles including They’re Playing Our Song, Evita, Sugar Babies, La Cage Aux FollesPhantom Of The Opera, Onward Victoria, CopperfieldColetteA Chorus Line and A Little Night Music. He has been nominated three times for both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for his orchestrations in The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and with Marc Shaiman for Catch Me If You Can. Larry received a Drama Desk Nomination for orchestrations for A Christmas Story

Larry contributed to the orchestrations for both the stage and film production of The Producers, the film Chicago andis a regular conductor and arranger for BBC RADIO 2  Friday Night Is Music Night in the UK. Larry is also the Music Supervisor and Orchestrator (along with Mark Cumberland) for the Olivier Awards in London.

Blank has worked with top talent from varied fields of the entertainment world, notably as personal conductor to Michael Crawford. He has also worked with Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Bernadette Peters, Kelsey Grammar, Christine Baranski, Roberta Flack, Pete Fountain, Peabo Bryson, Sally Kellerman, Nancy Dussault, Marc Shaiman, Jerry Herman, Ann- Margaret, Davis Gaines, Bette Midler, George Benson, Placido Domingo, Randy Newman, Trisha Yearwood, Tom Scott, Quincy Jones, Michael Bolton, John Raitt and Diana Rigg.

Blank’s background includes orchestrating and arranging songs for South Park and was Music Supervisor and Orchestrator for Jerry Herman’s movie, Mrs. Santa Claus starring Angela Lansbury and Charles Durning. Some of the films he lent his talent to include The Kid, Kiss The GirlsThe American President, Forget Paris, City Slickers II, The Net, That¹s Entertainment III, North, I¹d Do Anything, and Stuart Saves His Family. Blank’s music can be heard on the animated feature films, Cats Don’t Dance and All Dogs Go To Heaven as well as the 101 Dalmations Christmas Special.

Mr. Blank’s television work includes orchestrating and composing music for several of the Grammy Awards and Academy Award shows as well as numerous television movies and shows.

Mr. Blank has guest conducted most of the orchestras throughout the world, including The San Francisco Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Palm Beach Pops, Auckland Symphony, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Symphony, New Orleans Symphony and Toronto

Mitzi Gaynor

Emmy® winning and Golden Globe® nominated actress, comedienne and musical performer, MITZI GAYNOR, made her motion picture debut alongside Betty Grable in the 20th Century Fox film production My Blue Heaven and went on to dazzle audiences in some of the most revered musicals of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” including There’s No Business Like Show Business with Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe, Anything Goes with Bing Crosby and Donald O’Connor, Les Girls with Gene Kelly, and most notably as “Ensign Nellie Forbush” in the blockbuster film adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress.

The platinum-selling South Pacific soundtrack, featuring Gaynor’s vocals on classics “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” and “A Wonderful Guy,” has never gone out of print and ranks as the fourth album of all time to spend the most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart (31 weeks).

Gaynor continued her film career starring opposite Frank Sinatra in The Joker is Wild,  David Niven and Carl Reiner in Happy Anniversary (1959); followed by Stanley Donen’s Surprise Package with Yul Brynner & Noel Coward; and the comedy For Love or Money with Kirk Douglas, Gig Young and Thelma Ritter.

Her fabled Las Vegas debut in 1961 established her as one of the nation’s top live performers. In an era when male entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Liberace dominated Las Vegas showrooms, Gaynor’s success broke the entertainment mecca’s pay barrier for women as she became the city’s highest paid female entertainer and the second highest paid headliner of the time, male or female. She was the first female performer ever to be awarded the Las Vegas Governor’s Trophy for Star Entertainer of the Year. Her critically acclaimed annual concert tours visited theatres and concert halls across North America for six decades.

Concurrent with her film & concert career, her innovative annual television specials, including Mitzi…and 100 Guys, and Mitzi…Roarin’ in the 20’s, garnered 17 Emmy nominations, winning 6 awards. The specials were celebrated in the PBS musical documentary, Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years, featuring clips and commentary from Gaynor herself, along with Carl Reiner, Tony winners Bob Mackie, Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara, and famed director/choreographer Tony Charmoli, amongst others. The documentary earned Gaynor her own Emmy Award® for Outstanding Entertainment Special.

She was recently inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame by Michael Feinstein. For her contributions to dance she received the inaugural 2016 Dizzy Feet Foundation “Legend Award” from Adam Shankman and Nigel Lythgoe, and the Nevada Ballet’s “Woman of the Year” award.

Gaynor continues to share her dazzling brand of showmanship with audiences the world over in her acclaimed stage & concert performancesIn reviewing her most recent show, The New York Times called her “an all-time great,” and Rex Reed of The New York Observer noted, “Glamorous, Colossal and one of a kind, Mitzi Gaynor is the real deal.