Philly Pops take on 007 with ‘Bond and Beyond’

Catch the Pops at the Kimmel.  Credit: Mark Garvin Catch the Pops at the Kimmel.
Credit: Mark Garvin

Prepare for a shaken, not stirred, Philly Pops.

The orchestra, with Michael Krajewski at the helm, will perform “Bond and Beyond” this weekend at the Kimmel Center.

“We have everything,” Krajewski boasts. “We start with the very first film, 1962’s ‘Dr. No,’ all the way up to the most recent film.”

The music of the Bond series has become iconic, from Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” to Adele’s Oscar-winning “Skyfall.” Everyone from Paul McCartney to Madonna has recorded Bond themes for the 23 films in the franchise.

So varied, yet similar in a way.

“When I was getting this together, I did notice that there are themes,” Krajewski says. “There’s a sort of five-note dah, dah, dah, dah, dah sequence in the James Bond themes. There are commonalities in the sounds even though the songs are different. Even ‘Skyfall’ works in a few notes of the original Bond.”

The music always has an orchestral flare. And being a secret agent with a license to kill does have its perks.

“It very much is sounding on the exotic side and that matches up with all the exotic locations that you see and all the beautiful girls and the handsome men,” Krajewski says.

Soprano Debbie Gravitte will be the featured vocalist for the show. The “Beyond” part of the program includes renditions of Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man” and music from the Austin Powers and Pink Panther movies.

As for Krajewski, he’s filling in for the late Marvin Hamlisch on the Bond show. He’s the principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and he’ll be taking over as musical director of the Philly Pops when Peter Nero steps down next season.

“I hope I’m not forgotten like George Lazenby,” said Krajewski of the overlooked star of the 1969 Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

“I hope I’m more like Daniel Craig.”

If you go

“Bond and Beyond”
April 26-28
Tickets start at $30
Kimmel Center
1500 Walnut St., Floor 17
www.kimmelcenter.org

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