This past Friday, May 23rd, I had the fortunate chance to see Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II. This feature was conducted by George Daugherty and performed by the great Minnesota Orchestra.
George Daugherty and David Ka Lik Wong created and produced this idea where they play Looney Tunes cartoons on a giant screen at the orchestra and have live music play from professional musicians. Both have collaborated together on other projects like ABC Television’s project Peter and the Wolf, and both won Emmys for it along with many other awards. Daugherty and Wong travel with Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II to perform with multiple orchestras a season.
This was the second season Daugherty brought Bugs Bunny to our orchestra, and I doubt our last. As an adult growing up watching Warner Bros. cartoons on Saturday mornings I had no problem going without any children to bring, and still enjoyed the show thoroughly. The theatre was packed with children, all well behaved due to their enthusiasm I might add, and admired the show just as much as me, a graduate with studies in music.
I was reunited with many of my old buddies. Bugs, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Tweety, Sylvester, Pepe Le Pew, Tom and Jerry, and many more.
From the first 30 seconds of reel time the audience was appropriately laughing along with the cartoons. It was one of the most engaging experiences I ever felt at an orchestra concert, which makes me pleased that young children were able to appreciate finer arts with a twist. A few times Daugherty took the time to connect with the audience, giving us valuable history of the gang, and how their sketches came to be.
I absolutely recommend checking out this performance next year, especially if you grew up watching Warner Bros. cartoons.
Although it’ll be another year until its return, the Minnesota Orchestra will host other kid friendly shows including Pixar in Concert in mid June with discounted tickets for children, and Peter and the Wolf in mid July with free tickets for children.
Images via: Warner Bros. — Minnesota Orchestra