On Saturday, December 21 at 2:00PM, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute will present a special holiday family concert of A Charlie Brown Christmas featuring The New York Pops, Music Director Steven Reineke, with narration by Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, Sesame Street) at Carnegie's Hall Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage (57th & 7th Avenue).
This staged concert version of Charles M. Schulz’s iconic television special brings the beloved Peanuts characters to life through special choreography performed by dancers from New York Theatre Ballet and child actors from TADA! Youth Theater, underscored by the music of Vince Guaraldi, and performed by The New York Pops and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA. Click here for tickets!
1. On December 21, you will be joining forces with The New York Pops, New York Theatre Ballet, child actors from TADA! Youth Theater and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA for a concert version of Charles M. Schulz’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. What excites you about this upcoming concert? Anything Christmas-y always excites me and to be sharing the stage again with the incredible New York Pops and all these amazing performers at Carnegie Hall--what could be better?
2. What are you looking forward to most about getting to work together again? The spirit of collaboration that really comes through in working with The New York Pops. They're just an amazing group and we always have a lot of fun. They're all such incredible musicians and now that we've done a handful of concerts and shows together, it feels like coming home!
3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the concert? Well, hopefully they'll truly be in the spirit of the season and ready to celebrate Christmas together afterwards. I love A Charlie Brown Christmas because it reminds us all what the true meaning of the holidays is and to value and cherish the simple things.
4. What do you identify most with about the story of A Charlie Brown Christmas? Probably the angst "Charlie" feels about the holidays. I think we all go through that—there's never enough time to shop, or send Christmas cards, or find the right gift, or make enough for dinner or travel far enough, etc. As beautiful a time of year as it can be, it can also be very stressful and can become very commercial. I think we can all relate to "Charlie's" sense of wanting to experience the simplicity of the holidays.
5. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Well, I can now say performing with The New York Pops has become one of them! I love walking the streets and seeing all of the amazing holiday windows. And I just love the Radio City Christmas Show!
6. What do you love most about the holiday season in New York City? I love that there are so many wonderful events and shows and concerts and celebrations to choose from. Something for everyone.
7. What are some of your favorite holiday foods? Oh anything really! I have an unhealthy obsession with peppermint bark and peppermint hot chocolate. I love all of the side dishes: stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole...pretty much name it!
John Tartaglia has been puppeteering since age seven and has no plans to stop anytime soon! John’s dream of someday working for the Jim Henson Company came true when he was hired at age sixteen, making him one of the youngest "Muppeteers" in history. John puppeteered on Sesame Street for 12 seasons before leaving to make his Broadway debut as "Princeton" and "Rod" in Avenue Q, earning him a TONY nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.
He then had the great honor of creating and starring in Disney’s Johnny and the Sprites for which he was nominated for an EMMY as Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Show (and which was nominated for several other categories including Outstanding Children’s Series).
John also performed as "Pinocchio," the live real-time motion capture Magic Mirror, and the larger than life Dragon puppet in Shrek the Musical on Broadway, having previously performed on Broadway as "Lumiere" in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Other notable television appearances include Ugly Betty, "Tingo" on Sesame English (an ESL series airing worldwide), "Bear" in the Big Blue House, "DJ2" on Discovery Channel’s Animal Jam, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Dog City, Play With Me Sesame, Blue’s Room, and several Sesame Street and Muppet home videos and commercials. He’ll make his feature film debut with the upcoming release of Hotel Arthritis.
John’s newest project, a glow in the dark musical for families called ImaginOcean, is currently being developed for television, playing an international tour, and can be seen on several Royal Caribbean cruise ships, following a successful run Off-Broadway. John recently created, hosted, and directed Jim Henson’s Musical World, which enjoyed sold out performances at Carnegie Hall. He also currently serves as Resident Director of the original production of Avenue Q, now playing at New World Stages. Next, he’ll be directing the Broadway bound production of the acclaimed children’s novel Because of Winn-Dixie and returning to Shrek the Musical, this time as director, at the St. Louis MUNY.
John began teaching workshops and master classes in 2005, and feels honored to have a part in continuing to spread the art form that changed his life and inspires him every day.
The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music. The orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun.
Steven Reineke is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton and Pittsburgh. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands around the world. A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his partner Eric Gabbard.