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Williams, Connick Uncork 'Pops'

July 06, 2001|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

What's the next best thing to hearing classical music at the Hollywood Bowl this summer? That's easy. It's watching the Boston Pops Orchestra perform on PBS.

The mellow, melodic "Evening at Pops" begins its 32nd season of televised concerts tonight at 9 on KCET as conductor John Williams and Harry Connick Jr. lead the way.

Following musical excerpts from "2001: A Space Odyssey," Williams provides the score for "The Unfinished Journey," a Steven Spielberg short film interweaving black-and-white images that chronicle the history and social progress of the U.S.

Afterward, Connick brings his distinctive crooning to a trio of tunes: "Nowhere With Love," "Change Partners" and "The Long Goodbye." He also sits down at the piano for a playful rendition of "Chattanooga Choo Choo."

Williams closes the evening with filmed tributes to director-choreographer Busby Berkeley and the graceful Nicholas Brothers dance team. Both segments are set to the music of Harry Warren, who worked on many of Berkeley's grand movie musicals.

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