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The Valley Line: Crowd turns out for Pops enchantment

July 28, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • A visitor from Holland, Joop Van der Kleij, left, and his sister Ella Selda, a La Canada Flintridge resident, enjoy the Pops concert at the county Arboretum with Janet and Frank McNiff.
A visitor from Holland, Joop Van der Kleij, left, and his… (Photo by Jane Napier…)

How is you summer going? I can hardly believe it is the end of July already. I guess that is what happens when you are having a good time — the days just fly by.

I don't know if it is because I'm approaching my twilight years that days seem to pass me by at an accelerated rate. When I was a kid, that just didn't happen.

This past weekend I went with friends to see the “Cleopatra: The Exhibition” at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

The presentation of the exhibit is beautifully staged and lighted. There are more than 150 pieces on view that were reclaimed from the sea near Cleopatra's great city of Alexandria, Egypt.

From enormous statues of gods to exquisite and fragile jewels, this is a magnificent exhibit. Most astonishing is a papyrus that has the signature of the dynamic queen who captivated two of Rome's most powerful men, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.

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To enhance this Egyptian experience, guests can also buy tickets for the film, “Mysteries of Egypt,” showing in the IMAX Theatre next to the exhibit building.

I hope you can fit this rare exhibit and the film into your busy schedules — the exhibit closes on Dec. 31.

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The Pasadena Pops, in its second outing in its new home at the Arboretum in Arcadia, hit a home run with its July 21 concert. Even the peacocks seemed to be enraptured, enjoying the concert with very little squawking.

I don't think there was a vacant table to sit at, or patch of grass to claim for lawn seating. This was the biggest crowd for a Pops concert that I can recall. Nearly 4,000 people came to be enchanted by the music of Cole Porter.

The program began with the introduction of conductor Marvin Hamlisch. The orchestra had a very shaky beginning as a few wrong notes were played during the opening bars of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Hamlisch apologized and went off stage to retry his entrance. His second appearance evoked a huge round of applause.

The evening was dedicated to the music of the great composer Cole Porter as sung by Porter historian and vocalist Michael Feinstein.

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