Featuring Vocalists JOAN ELLISON & CAROLANN SANITA,
AND CONDUCTOR-DRUMMER MICHAEL BERKOWITZ
Put on your red sparkly shoes, click them together three times, and get ready for JUDY & LIZA AT THE PALLADIUM! Celebrate the music that brought the audience to their feet in November of 1964 when Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli teamed up for an unforgettable concert at London’s famed Palladium Theatre.
Michael Berkowitz, who toured with Liza, conducts Judy and Liza’s original arrangements from the drums, while Joan Ellison & Carolann Sanita belt out the songs of those original dynamic divas, including “Get Happy/Happy Days,” “Once In A Lifetime,” “Just In Time,” “Gypsy In My Soul,” “Cabaret,” “New York, New York,” “The Man That Got Away,” “Together,” “I Could Go On Singing,” “Chicago,” and, of course, “Over The Rainbow.”
“Our recent Pops concert production of “Judy and Liza at the Palladium” was brilliantly programmed and conducted by our principal pops maestro Mike Berkowitz and beautifully performed by two superb female vocalists, chosen by Mike, who stunningly both looked and sounded like Judy and Liza. The program was far more than a commemoration of a historic first time concert between Judy Garland and her daughter but more so presented an enchanting roster of beloved songs with the rare original extraordinary arrangements owned by Mike himself, and restorations done by Joan in conjunction with the Judy Garland Heirs Trust; all making for an orchestral evening that will be long remembered and cherished by our audience.”
— Alan Silow, President and CEO, Santa Rosa Symphony
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dubbed a “Conductor and Drummer Extraordinaire” by Johnny Green, Michael Berkowitz was the music director/conductor/drummer for Liza Minnelli, working with her on the Tony-award-winning “Liza’s At The Palace” on Broadway and in concerts around the world, and is currently Principal Pops Conductor of the Santa Rosa Symphony. Michael served as Marvin Hamlisch’s music director for nine years, appearing with him at the White House, the London Symphony and the Academy Awards as well as virtually every symphony in the U.S., and worked for thirteen years with arranger Nelson Riddle as his drummer, assistant conductor, and musical contractor. On Broadway, Michael has worked closely with legends Harold Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and Michael Kidd. In addition to Ms. Minnelli, Michael has appeared with Michael Crawford, Beyoncé, Harry Connick Jr., Steve Lawrence, Helen Reddy, Jon Bon Jovi, Chuck Berry, Ringo Starr, Roger Daltrey, Hal Linden, Sting, and Billy Joel, to name a few. Symphony orchestra appearances include The London Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and the Symphonies of Naples, Lexington, New Mexico, Oregon, Elgin, and Hartford, as well as orchestras throughout Italy, France, Sweden, and Germany.
Joan Ellison has been praised for her "vocal prowess....[and] organic grasp of the classic songs" by Michael Feinstein. She has made a specialty of reviving Judy Garland’s repertoire from the golden Hollywood years to her Carnegie Hall concert and television show, restoring Ms. Garland’s glorious original orchestrations. Joan’s NYC solo cabaret debut prompted Cabaret Scenes Magazine to describe her as “Judy-esque in appearance and…a near voice double for her idol.” She serves as Editor of the Judy Garland Carnegie Hall Concert Restoration Project for the Judy Garland Heirs Trust, working with Michael Feinstein. Joan has sung more than 45 concerts with symphonies coast to coast. Recent highlights include the recreation of Garland’s 1961 Carnegie Hall concert with Judy’s daughter, Lorna Luft, and Tony-winner Debbie Gravitte, and conducted by Michael Berkowitz; “Judy & Liza at the Palladium” with the Santa Rosa Pops; “Get Happy!” with the Toledo Symphony; and performances of her one-woman theatre piece, All Happiness, Judy Garland. In 2015 she released her second CD, “Retrophonic Gershwin.”
Three years ago, Carolann Sanita played Liza Minnelli in The Boy From Oz at TheatreZone Naples, where she met Joan Ellison playing Judy Garland. Carolann has been a soloist with the Naples Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Southwest Florida Symphony, and the Gulf Coast Symphony. She has toured as Marian in the first national tour of The Music Man and internationally as Maria in the European and Asian tours of West Side Story. Some favorite credits include singing back-up to Linda Eder at the Palace Theatre on Broadway, Encore’s No, No Nanette at New York City Center, Les Miserables at Flat Rock Playhouse, West Side Story at Sacramento Music Circus, Mack and Mabel at TheatreZone, Spamalot at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Night and Day at Florida Repertory Theatre, Beauty and the Beast at Artpark, A Little Night Music at South Coast Repertory Theatre, Thoroughly Modern Millie at The Cape Playhouse, and Urinetown at the Geva Theatre.
"Judy and Liza in Rehearsal" - Featurettes
Joan Ellison and Carolann Sanita sing "I Feel a Song Coming On" in rehearsal for Judy & Liza at the Palladium.
Joan Ellison sings "When the Sun Comes Out" in rehearsal for Judy and Liza at the Palladium.
Carolann Sanita sings "And the World Goes Round" in rehearsal for Judy & Liza at the Palladium.
Joan Ellison and Carolann Sanita sing "Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again" in rehearsal for Judy & Liza At The Palladium.
Symphony Pops Music