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Published: Friday, 10/29/2004

Musical mixture: Toledo Symphony's annual Spooktacular builds gags around 'The Apprentice'

BY STEVEN CORNELIUS
BLADE MUSIC CRITIC
Conductors in costume for concert. Conductors in costume for concert.
LUKE WARK / THE BLADE Enlarge | Buy This Photo

With the world's most inventive homicidal megalomaniacs safely under wraps, Spider-Man has found time to work on his dance moves. But the swan, classical ballet's go-to animal when a stirring death is required, is tired of taking it on the chin.

That's the word from Toledo Symphony spokesmen, at least.

These celebrities-along with a menagerie of ducks, cats, and costumed musicians - will be featured Sunday afternoon in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle when the orchestra presents its 11th annual Halloween Spooktacular.

Every fall for more than a decade, Toledo Symphony conductors and players have huddled together to come up with new skits. Last year's concert built gags around the television show American Idol; this year's theme takes off on The Apprentice, another hit reality television show. With the tyrannical conductor Ronald Rump on the podium, the advance word on Sunday's concert is that no musician will find his or her position secure.

During all the afternoon's silliness, planners have even managed to squeeze in a physics lesson of sorts.

In Adolf Schreiner's clarinet piece "Immer kleiner," a SpongeBob SquarePants look-alike disassembles the instrument from the bottom on up while the clarinetist performs. The music goes on because the melody gets higher as the instrument gets shorter.

Another skit features Toledo Ballet's Hannah Patchen, a student at Toledo School for the Arts, who offers a new twist on the classic role of "The Dying Swan." That role was created in 1907 by Anna Pavlova and Michel Fokine to music from Camille Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals."

Children from Maumee Valley Country Day School will be featured in Leroy Anderson's "The Waltzing Cat."

To make the performance more child-friendly, the concert's length has been shortened to 75 minutes. There is no intermission. That still leaves plenty of time for music, which includes Paul Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," Johann Strauss' "Champagne Polka," and John Williams' "Hedwig's Theme" from the Harry Potter movies.

As in previous years, children are encouraged to attend the concert in costume. There will also be a parade during which children can file across the stage to the accompaniment of Sam Szor leading the orchestra in Ricky Martin's hit song "Livin' la Vida Loca."

Chelsea Tipton II, Samuel Szor, and Toledo youth orchestra director Michael Miller conduct the Toledo Symphony in its annual Halloween Spooktacular at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. Tickets are $15 and $20 for adults, half price for children. Information: 419-246-8000.

Contact Steven Cornelius at:

scornelius@theblade.com

or 419-724-6152



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