LA Times

[LA Times] Rachael Worby conducts Pasadena Pops in stirring, dry-eyed final performance

“It looks like I’m crying, but I’m not,” vocalist Jodi Benson said after her moving rendition of “The Way We Were” at the Pasadena Pops concert Saturday night. “I’m really not emotional, it’s just that I have eyelash glue in my eye.”

Benson was in fact dry-eyed, as was conductor Rachael Worby, who prepared for the downbeat of the next piece. But tear-streaked faces were evident on many of the 2,000 fans picnicking on the grass outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The song that expresses the nostalgia of memories and lost dreams struck a chord with the crowd attending the final Pops concert conducted by Worby, who announced her resignation as music director in mid-August. Continue reading

LA Times / THEATER

[LA Times] Throw these puppets a line

Warning to all nostalgic “Sesame Street” fans: The puppets in “Stuffed and Unstrung” are not the Muppets.

They do hail from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, and they do exude childlike charm. An orange-haired girl with spongy purple skin accessorizes her tweed suit with pearls. Another, whose bright yellow nose sticks out 5 inches, wears blue hair tied in pigtails. And a rock-star gorilla sports sunglasses, studded bracelets and hoop earrings. Continue reading