Sarasota Orchestra presents 'Bugs Bunny At the Symphony'

The performance features classic Looney Tunes cartoons on a screen above the live orchestra.

The Sarasota Orchestra will celebrate the spectacular pairing of classical music and early animation next month when it presents a newly revised 30th Anniversary Edition of “Bugs Bunny At The Symphony.”

The concert, which has been selling out around the world for three decades, comes to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for three performances Jan. 3-4.

Conducted by Emmy Award winner George Daugherty and created and produced by Daugherty and Emmy Award-winning producer David Ka Lik Wong, Bugs Bunny at the Symphony features classic Looney Tunes cartoons on a screen above the live orchestra. The production has reached more than 2.5 million people worldwide.

“It’s because of all of the brilliant music that this concert has toured the world non-stop for 30 years and appeals to such a wide audience. Animation fans, of course, love the cartoons and the music, and revel in their lifetime memories of these brilliant jewels,” Daugherty says. “But serious classical music fans will not be disappointed, either. In fact, they have an added advantage–they will get all of the inside jokes that the true musical experts will appreciate and love.”

This production is a critically acclaimed sequel to Bugs Bunny on Broadway, the record-setting orchestra-and-film concert experience that pioneered a new genre of symphony orchestra entertainment with its 1990 Broadway debut. The show’s latest incarnation pays tribute to its 30-year legacy of Looney Tunes and orchestral music together in concert. Retaining the most indelible moments from the original production, these performances include What’s Opera, Doc? and The Rabbit of Seville, while adding other Warner Bros. classics such as Friz Freleng’s Rhapsody Rabbit, Chuck Jones’ Long-Haired Hare, and Road Runner’s epic roller coaster ride, Zoom and Bored. Bugs Bunny is joined on-screen by his immensely popular cohorts, including Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, and Wile E. Coyote, among many others. New to the concert are special guest appearances by Tom and Jerry, three of Daffy Duck’s funniest shorts, and a trio of love songs by the scent-challenged crooner, Pepe Le Pew.

This concert appeals to one of the widest demographics of any film-and-orchestra presentation in the marketplace as it continues to pull not only all ages, but also new audiences into iconic concert halls with the leading orchestras of the world. In three decades on tour — with the orchestras of Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Minnesota, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Sydney, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Seattle, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, and dozens of others — the concert franchise has proven that sometimes, boisterous laughter in the concert hall is a very good thing.

For 71 years, Sarasota Orchestra has been engaging music lovers from around the region and visitors from around the world. The 80-member Orchestra performs more than 100 classical, pops and family concerts each year, and thrives as the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida.

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