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Marvin Hamlisch funeral held in NY; Pasadena plans tribute concert

August 14, 2012|By Sherry Stern and Chris Barton
  • Terre Blair attends the funeral service for her husband, Marvin Hamlisch, at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.
Terre Blair attends the funeral service for her husband, Marvin Hamlisch,… (Rob Kim / Getty Images )

Pasadena Symphony and Pops has scheduled a free concert on the steps of Pasadena's City Hall Sept. 22 to celebrate the life and music of Marvin Hamlisch.

Hamlisch was in his second season as Pasadena's principal pops conductor when he died unexpectedly on Aug. 6 in Los Angeles at 68.

In New York City on Tuesday, Hamlisch's funeral was attended by a star-studded crowd that included director Mike Nichols, baseball great Joe Torre and Liza Minnelli.

PHOTOS: Marvin Hamlisch | 1944 - 2012

Former President Clinton described the late composer as a "great, giving genius."  "Genius is rare enough, but a good-hearted genius is rarer still," he said. "A good-hearted, humble and hilarious genius is almost unheard-of." Statements of sympathy also came in from President Obama and from former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Hamlisch's funeral took place at Congregation Emanu-El, a Manhattan synagogue that also hosted George Gershwin's funeral in 1937.

A choir of fellow musicians that included Lucie Arnaz and Rupert Holmes sang Hamlisch's "The Way We Were" and "What I Did for Love." Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel also sang, performing "At the Ballet" from "A Chorus Line."

The Pasadena concert, called "Music Under the Stars," will be hosted by actor Jason Alexander. Hamlisch's friend Larry Blank will conduct the program. 

The tribute's performers will include Lisa Vroman, who played Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway, and Val Perry, who played Eva Peron in "Evita." The Pasadena Symphony and Pops said it is planning to add more performers.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Pre-concert activities are still being planned but are expected to start at 5:30 p.m.

Blank also will be on the podium for "Gershwin on the Green," which had been Hamlisch's next scheduled appearance with Pasadena Pops. The Sept. 8 concert featuring the music of George Gershwin with pianist Kevin Cole will take place at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia.

Blank was the original conductor for Hamlisch's musical "They're Playing Our Song." He was the conductor for the original international tour of "A Chorus Line" and Hamlisch's personal music director and conductor throughout the 1980s.

Pasadena is also proceeding will a Sept. 15 fundraising gala called "Marvin Hamlisch & Friends." The title was chosen before Hamlisch died, and the orchestra decided to keep it in his memory. That concert at the Ambassador Auditorium will feature Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Marc Shaiman, Martin Short, Dave Koz, Liz Callaway and others.


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Marvin Hamlisch, 68, remembered by theater collaborators 

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