- The Magazine
On Saturday, Sept. 25, days after the official start of fall, comes the official start of the 2021-2022 season of the National Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Gianandrea Noseda. The Season Opening Gala Concert in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall will be capped by a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's tour-de-force Scheherazade that will put the rich colors and majesty of the symphony on full display.
All told, it will be a full September to remember at the NSO, as the organization gears up for its return to live, in-person performances with several concerts paying tribute to anniversaries, both celebratory and somber. After a pandemic-prompted hiatus in 2020, the NSO will revive its free outdoor Labor Day Concert on Sunday, Sept. 5.
Harry Connick, Jr. has fond memories of his time on Will & Grace. "Working with such an amazing group of writers and that fantastic cast, I loved it," says Connick, who played Grace's husband Dr. Leo Markus for four seasons of the groundbreaking, gay-focused sitcom.
"It was a great challenge," he says. "It was a very fast-paced production. Things changed all the time -- when you learned a script, they'd hand you a brand-new script the next day. It was just a thrill to be a part of."
Left to his own devices, however, the acclaimed and genial performer is more of an off-script kind of guy. Take, for instance, his first concert tour in two years, which just got underway.
"The last time I worked at Wolf Trap, I was six years old," says Matthew Gardiner. "I was in the Boston Ballet's production of Casey at the Bat." Thirty years later, Gardiner, who was recently appointed artistic director of Signature Theatre, has finally worked his way back to the National Park for the Performing Arts.
"Wolf Trap came to us and asked, 'Would you be interested in partnering?'" he says, explaining the origins of a new pandemic-born collaboration between Wolf Trap and Signature Theatre. "We looked at various possibilities, from full-blown productions to concerts and everything in between."
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