East Penn Press

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Really Inventive Stuff, founded by Sara Valentine and Michael Boudewyns, joins Allentown Symphony Orchestra for “Peter and the Wolf,” 2 p.m. Feb. 25, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Really Inventive Stuff, founded by Sara Valentine and Michael Boudewyns, joins Allentown Symphony Orchestra for “Peter and the Wolf,” 2 p.m. Feb. 25, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ASO brings ‘Peter and the Wolf’ to life

Friday, February 24, 2017 by ERIN FERGUSON Special to The Press in Focus

The Allentown Symphony Orchestra presents “Peter and the Wolf,” composed by Sergei Prokofiev, 2 p.m. Feb. 25, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

The “ASO Family Classical Concert” program, in addition to “Peter and the Wolf,” includes Mozart, “Marriage of Figaro Overture”; Haydn, “Toy Symphony”; Rimsky-Korsakov, “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

“Peter and the Wolf” is narrated by Really Inventive Stuff, founded by Sara Valentine and Michael Boudewyns. Really Inventive Stuff, based near Portland, Me., was founded in 2004 by Boudewyns and his wife, Valentine.

“These concerts are an opportunity for Allentown and the surrounding community to re-discover the gem that they have sitting right here at the Miller Symphony Hall. You will find the same kind of heart, love and dedication as you would at a New York City, Philadelphia or London show, just to name a few, with the fabulous musicians who live and perform here,” Boudewyns says in a phone interview.

“There’s something special about the orchestra. It’s the best team sport out there. Everyone is playing their part for the bigger goal,” says Boudewyns.

Boudewyns and Valentine will be debuting with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in “Peter and the Wolf” more than 100 times and narrated the piece ion with 24 orchestras. Boudewyns, an Iowa native, received a BA in theater from the University of Iowa and an MFA in acting comes from the University of Delaware.

Stage props include an old suitcases and coat racks.

The vaudeville-inspired performance was hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “immensely like-able” and “using simplicity as a form of genius.”

“Using a select collection of interesting props that help tell the story is all that is required. Spare things add to the playfulness of theater and that is the most powerful part. It’s the same playfulness as if you were in kindergarten,” Boudewyns says.

“Peter and the Wolf” is said to be one of the best ways to introduce a young person to the wonder of hearing a live symphony orchestra and the instruments of the symphony.

Each animal and person in the story will have its own instrument and theme. A duck will be played by the oboe, a cat by the clarinet, a wolf by the French horns, and a bird by the flute. Peter will be played by the strings, grandfather by the bassoon, and hunters by the percussion family. The music will embody each of the characters and help to give them emotion and spirit.

“Diane [Wittry] is doing something remarkable and I wanted to partner with someone like that, with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra,” says Boudewyns of Diane Wittry, ASO Music Director and Conductor.

Tickets: Miller Symphony Hall Box Office, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown; allentownsymphony.org; 610-432-6715