Boston Pops 2013 Season Pays Tribute to Film

boston pops spring concertPhoto courtesy of the BSO.

You gotta give the whole Boston Symphony behemoth major props for never resting: Just has the Holiday Pops opens with its usual cozy fanfare on December 5, the Boston Pops will start selling tickets for its spring season. Do these people never quit? The schedule for Spring 2013—which runs from May 8 to June 15—was just released, and it’s like opening a Christmas present early.

The highlight theme of the season is “Best of Hollywood Film Music,” which is pretty self-explanatory, but there are some juicy highlights here. From May 9-11, the Pops will play selections from the 1940 classic Fantasia, as well as from its lesser sequel Fantasia 2000, with the accompanying scenes projected on the big screen behind the orchestra. Fantasia really comes alive on a big screen, and while the BSO’s isn’t quite up to Loews, the trade-off is having one of the best live orchestras in the world blaring the music at you.

Then there are more mainstream pop nights, like the tribute to film composer Marvin Hamlisch (May 14-15), who wrote the scores to such flicks as The Way We Were, Sophie’s Choice, and the adaptations of Scott Joplin for The Sting. There’s also a night of Hollywood Love Songs (May 23-24), performed with Megan Hilty of the TV show Smash. This night should include some surprisingly wiseass choices like “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” while “Moon River” is still one of the most beautiful songs of the last 75 years. Indeed, it could just be the perfect date night. But “My Heart Will Go On,” though? Okay, okay, they have to play it … no, no, really do they have to play it?

Then there’s the tribute nights. There’s the annual John Williams film night (June 7, 8, 11, 12), with the prerequisite Jaws, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones stuff. The difference this year will be that the maestro will include selections from Spielberg’s recent Lincoln biopic. If you’ve never been to this, you’ll be surprised how much giddy fun it is, with its rousing, familiar tunes and film clips, and the hordes of young sci-fi and movie nerds hollering in the balconies like JW’s a rock star, which he kinda is. The other night is Pixar night (June 4-5), with hits from Toy Story and Finding Nemo to Wall-E and Up.

With such a big theme dominating the season, it’s hard to notice that there are other non-film events there as well, with some pretty big names. For one, Opening Night on May 8 features film songs in the first half, but the second half will be celebrity concert with country legend Vince Gill, and the season actually ends with “A Country Salute to Our Troops” (June 13-15). There’s a Gospel Night on May 25, which has been one of the most soul-stirring nights in Boston music since 1993—again, think how awesome the best gospel music is, then add the power of one of the best orchestras. There will be a night devoted to Mad Men-era music (May 21, 22, 31 and June 1), and oh yeah, all you Glee fans can stage-rush the night of song and dance with the show’s Matthew Morrison (May 28-29).

It’s quite a full slate of the kind of easy-going, rousing goods that Pops specializes in. Let’s hope the accessibility of the Pops gets newbies interested enough, where they’ll come back in the winter to see the more-serious BSO play, say, Stravinsky or Xenakis, but it’s just great to see people filling up Symphony Hall.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 888-266-1200, bostonpops.org.