Long before becoming the iconic George Costanza on Seinfeld, Tony Award-winner Jason Alexander was a Broadway song-and-dance man. Hear the hilarious re-telling of his journey to and on the Broadway stage through a program of show tunes, comedy, and audience interaction this weekend in Orchestra Hall at The Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.
Robert Bernhardt is conductor, Todd Schroeder is pianist and musical director, and Carrie Schroeder is guest soloist for the PNC Pops Series concerts on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2 & 3.
Details from the DSO:
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) continues the 2019-2020 PNC Pops Series with a very special guest: Jason Alexander, the actor and comedian best known as Seinfeld’s George Costanza.
Before Seinfeld, Alexander was a celebrated Broadway actor. His performance with the DSO includes a hilarious recap of his journey onstage and on TV and is full of songs, comedy, and audience interaction. Alexander will be joined by pianist and music director Todd Schroeder and guest soloist Carrie Schroeder; Robert Bernhardt will conduct.
The concerts take place Saturday, November 2 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 3 at 3 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.
In 2017, the DSO’s pops programming took on a fresh title: the PNC Pops Series, thanks to the generous support of PNC Bank. “This is a terrific series that showcases both the DSO and a wide variety of popular music, said Ric DeVore, PNC regional president for Detroit and Southeast Michigan. “That combination is sure to put a smile on the faces of everyone who attends the concerts.”
About Jason Alexander
Though best known for his award-winning, nine-year stint as the now iconic George Costanza of television’s Seinfeld, Jason Alexander has achieved international recognition for a career noted for its extraordinary diversity: from lauded performances on stage, screen, and television to his extensive works as a writer, composer, director, producer, and acting teacher.
Alexander began as a teenager doing commercials for television and radio. While still in college, he made his Broadway debut in the original cast of the Hal Prince/Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along. He continued starring on Broadway in the original casts of Kander and Ebb’s The Rink, Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound, Rupert Holmes’ Accomplice, and his Tony Award-winning performance in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Jason also authored the libretto for that show, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical.
Alexander’s many films include Pretty Woman, Jacob’s Ladder, Love Valor Compassion, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dunston Checks In, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Shallow Hal. Additionally, he directed the feature films For Better or Worse and Just Looking. He also directed television episodes of Seinfeld, Til Death, Everybody Hates Chris, Mike and Molly, Criminal Minds, and Franklin & Bash. His direction of the music video for Brad Paisley’s “Online” won him a Country Music Award.
Aside from Seinfeld, Alexander has starred in and produced the series Bob Patterson, Listen Up, and Hit the Road. Other notable roles include Friends, Two and a Half Men, Old Christine, Criminal Minds, Monk, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Young Sheldon.
Alexander tours the country as a speaker, comedian, and symphony artist. In his spare time, he is also an award-winning magician, children’s book author, poker champion, political and social activist, martial artist, ceramicist, teacher, and a husband to artist Daena Title and proud dad of his sons, Gabriel and Noah.
About Robert Bernhardt
Robert Bernhardt is musical director emeritus and principal pops conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, where he served as music director and conductor for 19 seasons. Concurrently, Bernhardt is in his 20th year as principal pops conductor of the Louisville Orchestra and was recently named principal pops conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He is also an artist-in-residence at Lee University and conductor of the Lee Symphony. A lover of all genres of music, he is equally at home in symphonic, operatic, pops, and educational performances.
Bernhardt made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1978 and his Boston Pops debut in 1992, at the personal invitation of John Williams. He has been a frequent guest conductor at the Boston Pops in the nearly 30 years since, and this year he returns to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as conductor of their Symphony Under the Sky Festival. Bernhardt has recorded for Vanguard, First Edition, Carlton Classics, and RPO. A lover of opera, he has conducted staged productions of Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Rigoletto, La Bohème, Il Trovatore, The Flying Dutchman, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Carmen, Tosca, and many more, as well as numerous Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and the musical My Fair Lady.
Born in Rochester, NY, Bernhardt holds a master’s degree with Honors from the University of Southern California School of Music, where he studied with Daniel Lewis. He was a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Union College, where he was also an Academic All-American Baseball Player and captain of the school’s soccer team. He and his wife, Nora, live in Signal Mountain, TN.
About Todd Schroeder
Todd Schroeder sits beneath his porkpie hat having the time of his life. He is a pianist, composer, director, producer, arranger, songwriter, and certainly one of the hardest working music directors in the world – with the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Musical Direction and broadwayworld.com Musical Director of the Year award under his belt.
Schroeder has collaborated with superstars like Jason Alexander, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Jones, Rita Coolidge, Sam Harris, Postmodern Jukebox, and more; for more than 25 years he has worked closely with the legendary Angela Lansbury, including her recent performance in Mary Poppins Returns. Schroeder has also music directed and performed with various artists on TV shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Late Late Show. He has served as music or vocal director for several live shows, including Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, Universal Parks and Resorts’ Sing On Tour, and Universal Studios Japan’s Wicked.
Schroeder has composed music for film, TV, and theater, including the Ovation Award-winning off-Broadway hit HAM: A Musical Memoir with Sam Harris. Other composition credits include Unbeatable: A Bold New Musical, Longing4Love.com, and his brand new musical Wallace, das Musical: The True Story of William Wallace.
Schroeder is the proud founder of the Todd Schroeder Young Artist Grant, an annual scholarship presented to graduating high school students who wish to pursue careers in the arts.
About Carrie Schroeder
Carrie Schroeder is a series regular on Nickelodeon’s new hit show I Am Frankie, where she plays Dr. Sigourney Gaines.
Schroeder was born and raised in Shepparton, Australia and attended Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Acting for the Stage and Screen. After graduating, she played Eva in the Sydney production and subsequent Australian tour of And Then They Came For Me and toured Singapore in Once Upon a Fairytale Christmas. In 2004, she made her film debut in Jessica; she has also appeared on Australian television in Neighbours, Offspring, and H2O, Just Add Water.
Schroeder moved to Los Angeles in 2012 and continues to keep busy in film and television across the United States. Her notable theater credits include Alison in John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger (Los Angeles New Court Theatre), Sophie in Joanne Mosconi’s new work You Love That I’m NOT Your Wife! (Fringe Theatre Company), and Margot Wendice in Dial M For Murder (The Group Rep), for which she was honored to receive a BroadwayWorld nomination for Best Actress. In addition to her acting career, Schroeder is also an accomplished mezzo-soprano. She first performed with Jason Alexander and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall in 2013.