Dearborn Symphony Pops Concert features ‘Comics & Cartoons in Concert’

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra Conductor and pianist Rich Ridenour returns to lead the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra in its annual Pops Concert at 8 p.m. April at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave.

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra
Conductor and pianist Rich Ridenour returns to lead the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra in its annual Pops Concert at 8 p.m. April at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave.

Pops Concert features ‘Comics’ with Rich Ridenour The Dearborn Symphony with conductor and pianist Rich Ridenour will present the Symphony’s annual Pops Concert at 8 p.m. April 7 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave. Tickets ranging from $15 to $35 are available by phoning the Symphony office at 313-565-2424 or the theater box office at 313-943-2354. Go to dearbornsymphony.org for more information. Ridenour leads the orchestra in hits from Bugs Bunny, Peanuts, Batman, Spider-man, Superman and more from classic cartoons, movie scores and video games. Featured composers include John Williams and Rossini. As the orchestra performs, artists Sunshine Durant and Brian Gagnon will, on canvases on either side of the stage, draw favorite cartoon characters. Acclaimed “a dazzling pianist … (and) amusing showman” by the Lafayette Journal, and “masterfully musical, wickedly funny and amazingly versatile" by the Grand Rapids Press, Ridenour has built a formidable career arranging and performing music of great piano favorites ranging from classical masterworks to American ragtime, jazz and rock ’n’ roll. A consummate entertainer with degrees from UM and Juilliard, Ridenour blends classical, jazz, pop and comedy into an evening enjoyable for all ages. A talented pianist, Ridenour covered for Peter Nero on two hours’ notice to perform “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Detroit Symphony at Orchestra Hall in 2005. Pianist to the stars, Ridenour has accompanied artists such as Carol Lawrence, Robert Guillaume, Smokey Robinson, Larry Gatlin and Martin Short. The Dearborn Symphony concert wraps up Gallery Rally Week, part of Dearborn’s new, citywide program in April, celebrating arts in the community. Local artist Hadi Boumelhem created the original comic artwork of Ridenour conducting and at the piano. “Dearborn Arts Month” brings together artists, businesses, local colleges and the Dearborn Symphony to create, exhibit, entertain and educate. The month begins with “Gallery Rally” at nine venues — Padzieski Gallery, Arab American National Museum, Artspace, Green Brain Comics, Rotunda Gallery at Henry Ford Centennial Library, Sisson Gallery at Henry Ford College, Berkowitz Gallery at University of Michigan-Dearborn, The Glass Academy, and Art for the Spirit at Beaumont Hospital-Dearborn. Join the top-flight musicians of the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra and Ridenour to experience the emotion, action and adventure of Comics and Cartoons in Concert. The audience is invited to meet the artists at the afterglow. The Dearborn Symphony has partnered with local restaurants for “Dinner and a Concert.” The restaurants — Andiamo Dearborn, Big Fish, The Dearborn Inn, Tria at The Henry, and La Pita — offer a 20 percent discount to symphony ticket-holders on concert nights. Reservations are recommended.