The idea of using a symphonic introduction for a musical theater production had its roots centuries earlier when composers of grand opera decided to begin their works with a collection of musical motifs that allowed audiences to become acquainted with melodies that followed once the curtain was raised. This musical “foreshadowing” became a key ingredient in productions such as Showboat, Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, and Gypsy. The act of weaving one song into another within a narrow timeframe is an art unto itself and allows the composer to work independently of the lyricist to create an often underappreciated component of the show. During this program we will have an opportunity to watch symphony orchestras perform the overtures to several classic Broadway musicals including the ones mentioned above. Be prepared for a wonderful experience reliving a host of melodies that have become an essential part of American music.