George Daugherty talks about Bugs Bunny at Blossom

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 ·

Ever since Bugs Bunny On Broadway premiered in 1990, I have found myself in an almost perpetual state of amazement – not only that this unlikely conflagration of cartoons and classical music actually came to life, but more so at the incredible places at which we have performed it.

But no place has given us as much pleasure as performing at Blossom. Blossom was one of our very first touring stops in 1990, and since then Bugs has been so delighted to share the Blossom stage with The Cleveland Orchestra on several occasions, and now this summer, The Blossom Festival Orchestra!

During our two-decade run with this concert, the world has changed dramatically. When Bugs Bunny On Broadway was first devised in 1989, the Internet was still a gleam in the eye of some very forward thinking computer geeks, snailmail was still the norm, pagers and fax machines were high technology, a cellular phone was the size of a shoe box and permanently connected to your car, words like email(ed), Google(ed), and Ebay(ed) were neither nouns nor verbs, the word “Amazon” conjured up a rainforest not books or CD’s, a website was a spider’s domicile, DVD’s were unheard of, people were still deciding between Betamax and VHS, and the word IPod would have brought to mind an alien lifeform from another planet.

Now, in this 9th year of the 21st Century, technology continues to soar, pop culture continues to move and shake, but one thing remains the same . . . the timeless brilliance of these classic Warner Bros. Studios cartoons.

Because of these incredible cartoons and their spectacular music, Bugs Bunny On Broadway provides a rabbit warren of surprises, not only for the audience, but even for the performers.

Bugs is most certainly the only singer I know who effortlessly – and flawlessly – sings Rossini and Wagner in the same evening, while at the same time dancing en pointe with the aplomb and finesse of a prima ballerina. And if that weren’t enough of a tour de force, he also conducts, acts, recites Shakespeare, Irish step dances, masquerades as a variety of fetching females, plays piano (as well as tuba, harp, banjo, drums, and God knows what else), tortures operatic baritones, and destroys The Hollywood Bowl . . . all in one performance!

Bugs Bunny On Broadway has brought joy and laughter to well over one and a half million concertgoers on five continents since its invention in 1989. Somehow, it is incredibly fitting that Bugs has pursued a 19-year concert schedule of performances on the world’s greatest concert stages, and with the world’s greatest orchestras, that would be the envy of MANY a major human concert star.

As we go back for return engagements we are now meeting the children of the baby boomers who first came to see us in 1990. And it is all so fitting, because these brilliant cartoons have always been beloved, and passed down, by generation after generation since they were first created. That is the not-so-secret of their success. They are so magical, so funny, so brilliant, so unique, so enduring. So musical! And, of course, as fresh and timely as the day they were first hatched.

So here’s a HUGE toast to our 20th year . . . and to “BUGS BUNNY AT BLOSSOM!” I can think of NO WHERE on the planet where we would rather mark the start of our 20th anniversary season!

George Daugherty
August, 2009

Click here to listen to George talk about Bugs Bunny at Blossom on WMJI and WEOL.


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