Daniel Rodriguez - host and performer
Yuletide Celebration 2004
Holiday Spectacular 2005
December 3 thru December 23, 2004, Daniel Rodriguez was host and performer at the Hilbert Theatre with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The event was the Christmas "Yuletide Celebration" concert series, Jack Everly principal pops conductor.
In 2005 Daniel returned as host for the inaugural production of "Holiday Spectacular" at the Meyerhoff with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jack Everly.
"Although I was thrilled to be asked to host, I really wasn't sure what was expected of me. I was told I just needed to sing, dance and be funny. Well singing is easy, I've done that all my life, and we found out in rehearsal that when I dance it's very funny." ~Daniel
Cue the Santas: BSO stages jolly holiday show.
Tim Smith, Sun Music Critic. December 20, 2005
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall could become the Radio City Music Hall of the Mid-Atlantic.
All right, maybe that's too much of a stretch. But the continuously expanding chorus line of tap-dancing Santas that brings down the curtain on the first half of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's new "Holiday Spectacular" does have the kick of a vintage Rockettes routine.
If all goes well, it's a sight that will be repeated year after year.
For this inaugural "Spectacular," the Meyerhoff stage has been festively transformed with billowy curtains and a surprisingly attractive balcony built along the rear wall to hold brass and percussion players; the lobby, too, has received ample decoration.
The BSO is sharing the bill with a large cast of local and guest talent. Among the latter are vocalist Daniel Rodriguez (the former New York City policeman who is enjoying a burgeoning singing career) and Fred Garbo's Inflatable Theater Co. (an amusingly updated version of the kind of physical entertainment seen on old TV variety shows).
Patterned after the Indianapolis Symphony's enormously successful "Yuletide Celebration," this is one of the most ambitious projects the BSO has tackled. Whether it becomes an annual cash-cow, as in Indianapolis, remains to be seen, but box-office response has been strong enough to suggest that folks here are in the mood and the market for a holiday extravaganza.
If anyone can make this thing fly as an annual attraction, it's the BSO's (and the Indianapolis Symphony's) principal pops conductor, Jack Everly, one of the best hires the orchestra has made. He supervised this inaugural venture at the Meyerhoff, wrote many of the colorful orchestra arrangements and plans to conduct it next year.
Judging by what I caught of the dress rehearsal, this is, as usual with an Everly product, a thoroughly professional-looking and-sounding vehicle. There's just enough Scrooge in me to make me squirm at some of the wholesomeness onstage, but anyone seeking a hearty dose of seasonal spirit should feel well-rewarded.
And for those participating in the great (if absurd) "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" debate, note that the production doesn't shy away from using the "C"-word, or even the "J.C." words (in traditional carols). From "The Christmas Song" to "Winter Wonderland," to "Do You Hear What I Hear?" to "O Holy Night," the program touches just about all the bases. There's even a Hanukkah number in the mix.