Long Beach Symphony POPS! to Bring SNL Alumna Ana Gasteyer to Perform


Image courtesy of Long Beach Symphony.

Saturday Night Live (SNL) alumna Ana Gasteyer will bring the naughty and the nice to Long Beach Symphony’s Broadway Holiday POPS! concert on Saturday, December 10.

Gasteyer is scheduled to join veteran conductor and arranger Larry Blank on stage for a cabaret-style evening of holiday tunes and high-spirited banter at the Long Beach Arena. The program includes a roster of award-winning Broadway hits mixed with time-honored holiday pop favorites, many of which have been specially arranged for Gasteyer’s symphony debut.

In the 90s, Gasteyer’s six-season SNL stint brought her talent for irony and celebrity impressions into the homes of Americans across the country. Her hilarious portrayal of homemaking guru Martha Stewart, her joint appearance with Will Ferrell as high school assembly performers, and her skit as an NPR radio host with Alec Baldwin are just a few of the acts the comedian is known for.

Since leaving SNL (let’s not forget her spot-on impression of Celine Dion singing “My Heart Will Go On”), Gasteyer’s television career has anything but slowed. She starred in 53 episodes of Suburgatory, played the music teacher in ABC’s The Goldbergs, acted as comedian Maria Bamford’s short-fused talent agent Karen Grisham on Netflix’s Lady Dynamite and is now starring in TBS’ People of Earth.

Despite the quirky hilarity Gasteyer consistently brings to televisions, she is first and foremost an accomplished singer with a formal education in vocal training. Her decades of experience on Broadway include musicals such as Wicked and Rocky Horror, with her debut appearance at the Long Beach Symphony POPS! set to be nothing short of spectacular.

Gasteyer will take the stage with the orchestra in a unique program that blends her best Broadway roles with jazz-inspired holiday tunes, according to the symphony.

Larry Blank, to serve as guest conductor for the evening, is a prolific and highly sought-after composer, conductor and orchestrator and has arranged medleys fine tuned for Gasteyer and the Long Beach Symphony.

Blank’s work has been presented all over the world and his arrangements have been used in some of Broadway’s top musicals, as well as for film and television. Gasteyer’s concert will include a medley of songs by the legendary Jule Styne, who wrote more than 1,500 songs during his lifetime, among them “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” But Gasteyer’s beautiful rendition of “Defying Gravity” from the hit Broadway musical, Wicked, may turn out to be the real show-stopper.

Each Long Beach Symphony POPS! concert is different this one will be no exception. The shows are designed to foster friends and family gatherings over dinner and libations, while patrons are encouraged to get down on the two dance floors that flank the stage. To add to the festivities, of which thousands are expected to attend, the Long Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has decked the arena with holiday décor and festive lighting. There’ll also be photo opportunities and surprise guest appearances by some of Gasteyer’s long-time comedic friends, according to the symphony.

“This concert will be such a fun holiday experience for all age groups and we hope people will gather with family, friends and co-workers,” said Executive Director Kelly Lucera in a statement. “We love this time of year and are pulling out all the stops to make it a musical holiday party to remember!”

Regardless of seating preference, all POPS! patrons can bring their own picnics and libations or can purchase food and beverages from preferred local caterers listed on the Symphony’s website. Doors open at 6:30PM to allow time for dining and mingling with friends and the concert begins at 8:00PM.

The POPS! Series is sponsored, in part, by Farmers & Merchants Bank. Tickets to the Long Beach Symphony’s Classical and POPS! concerts start at $25. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Symphony’s website here or call (562) 436-3203.

The Long Beach Arena is located at 300 East Ocean Boulevard.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.