Featured Image: Christopher Hemmel
If there was a Grinch in the audience at the Saturday showing of the Philly Pops Christmas Spectacular, his heart must have grown 3 sizes by the last song. There is no better way to ring in the holiday season than with the Philly Pops.
Led by charismatic conductor, David Charles Abell, the audience was whisked around the world through holiday tunes. From London with “Once in David’s Royal City” to the Caribbean with “A Caribbean Sleigh Ride” and even to New York with the Broadway song, “We Need a Little Christmas,” a lot of holiday cheer was covered in two hours.
The Philadelphia Boys Choir was as magnificent as always and combined with The Philly Pops and the POPS Festival Chorus, the result was inevitable goose bumps. In the second half, a little gospel was thrown in the mix with The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir. The performance was so powerful they could have lifted the roof right off the Kimmel Center with their voices.
Perhaps the most moving part of the afternoon was Philadelphia- raised Broadway star, Hugh Panaro, and his rendition of “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables. The piece was chosen to honor the troops overseas that cannot come home for the holidays. The audience was so moved by Panaro, you could hear a pin drop and many were brought to tears by his performance. Inevitably, there was a standing ovation. This was a special music moment that everyone in the audience will treasure for years to come.
And what would The Christmas Spectacular be without Santa Claus himself? He landed on the Kimmel Center Roof just in time to perform “Jingle Bell Rock” with the Pops.
All in all, The Christmas Spectacular is a must attend show no matter what your age. By its conclusion, the Kimmel Center was filled with smiles, excitement, and laughter. Look no further than the Philly Pops to get you and the whole family into the holiday spirit.
The show will be running from now until December 20th. You can purchase tickets here.
Also, if you plan to attend, be sure to submit a joke to David Charles Abell! He chooses a few to recite during each show.