The child in all of us and actual children were delighted by Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II at Wolf Trap last night. The unique evening of classic cartoons and classical music was created and conducted by George Daugherty and performed by DC’s own National Symphony Orchestra. The evening of non-stop laughter was entertaining to both the young and old alike and serves as a great s introduction to the symphony for the kids.
The huge screens lit up the beautiful Virginia evening with the rambunctious antics of our favorite Looney Tunes characters. Daugherty has curated a wonderful selection of Bugs’ best moments on screen as well as shorts from his friends like Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote and many more. In fact, Daugherty informed the audience that these classic cartoons hailed from the 30s, 40s, and 50s and were carefully selected from Warner Brothers’ library of over 2000 shorts created during that time. With such a large collection, it’s no wonder each hand-picked clip sent the crowd into uncontrollable laughter.
While the cartoons were a laugh-a-minute experience the true soul of the evening was provided by Daugherty and the NSO. When Daugherty first began this project, the NSO was there to play the very first show of Bugs Bunny on Broadway at Wolf Trap in 1991, and the orchestra has kept up a long tradition of playing each version of the show to this day. As of last night, the NSO has played this orchestration more than any other orchestra in the world, and their mastery showed.
The beautiful music was perfectly in time to the hilarious cartoons and added an extra layer of musical humor to each short. From mimicking Bugs Bunny’s fast fingers on the piano to setting the mood for Pepe Le Pew, the NSO delivered the stunning orchestration to a tee. The joy on everyone’s face was testament enough to the great music and Daugherty’s spot on imitation of the animated characters above him.
Running Time: About 2 hours and 30 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission.
5 stars for a musically hilarious evening of classic cartoons and wholesome content comedy lovers of any age will enjoy.
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II with the National Symphony Orchestra plays again tonight at The Filene Center at Wolf Trap -1645 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA. For tickets purchase them online or call 877-965-3872. For future performances and Information, check their calendar of events.