The orchestral majesty of motion pictures returns next weekend to Cape Coral, as the much loved Cape Movie Magic swings into its second year with a free concert for the entire family.
The concert is Saturday, Feb 27, 4 p.m., at Four Freedoms Park in downtown Cape Coral.
This year will see some changes to the event, namely a different venue, but Gulf Coast Symphony Music Director Andrew Kurtz promises the same wonderful experience that people loved last year.
"This is an outdoor symphonic pops concert that's geared toward families. That's what were philosophically trying to do," Kurtz said. "We're committed to making this a great concert. It's going to be absolutely exciting, and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon."
Moving from Cultural Park last year to Four Freedoms Park this year, Kurtz said there was a conscious effort to bring the concert into the CRA and centralize it in the Cape's business district.
The waterfront location of Four Freedoms Park seems like a "beautiful space" according Kurtz, who said should easily fit between 800 - 1,000 people eager to hear their favorite movie tunes.
What: Cape Movie Magic
Where: Four Freedoms Park,
downtown Cape Coral
When: Saturday, Feb. 27,
Another change this year is a scaled back version of some of the things surrounding the concert.
For instance, last year's show had film clips playing along with the orchestral accompaniment.
This year that feature has been scrapped, but returning are the costumed characters, various community vendors, food and beverage sales as well as kids face painting and games.
The time of the show has been changed, too. Instead of playing into the night, the concert will begin earlier at 4 p.m., allowing families to experience the show and make it home in enough time to share a nice family meal.
"We felt very strongly that, if this is going to be a family event, then it needed to be done by dinner time," Kurtz said. "If this was going to be a true family event, then the concert needs to start by 4."
The Gulf Coast Symphony has a history of performing free concerts in Lee County.
Kurtz said the orchestra wanted to diversify where it performs, and make a conscious effort to reach out to all parts of Lee County.
He said that people can expect an annual concert in the Cape. While the theme might not always be movies, he said the symphony is committed to bringing music to the Cape.
"Our mission and philosophy is to reach out to the community ... and we felt there were some areas that were under-served by live symphonic performances," Kurtz said. "When we made the commitment this year, we felt strongly that Cape Coral deserves the opportunity to hear an outdoor concert."
Last year's concert leaned heavily on the music of composer John Williams, whose memorable scores have become etched into the popular subconscious over the last five decades.
"Star Wars," "Jaws," "Indiana Jones," "Schindler's List," "Superman" and "Harry Potter" all featured some of Williams' most indelible work, and wowed the audience last year.
This year Kurtz said there will be a few of Williams' compositions - "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial" and the new "Star Wars" trilogy - but music from the "Batman" films, "James Bond" film series and "Star Trek" will also be featured.
"It's all very powerful, emotive music," Kurtz said.
The Gulf Coast Symphony was founded 15 years ago by Kurtz, who is also the general and artistic director of the Center City Opera Theater of Philadelphia. Kurtz's work is internationally recognized.
The Gulf Coast Symphony performs regular concert series at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall and a New Year's Eve Concert and Gala, among others throughout the county.
Cape Movie Magic is part of the orchestra's free POPS in the Park series, which is also performed at Estero Park.
Kurtz said to expect POPS in the Park to become a tradition in the Cape, as the orchestra are already looking forward to next year.
"I think the city of Cape Coral, and all the people that have given us support, are all very enthusiastic about this," he said. "It'll keep building now that we've (the Gulf Coast Symphony) taken over the event completely."
Cape Movie Magic is free and open to the public.
Some vendors will be available, but Gulf Coast Symphony is encouraging families to bring blankets, picnic baskets, and lawn chairs to enjoy the show.
Limited reserved (on-site) parking will be available at the event for at least a $5 donation on first-come, first-served basis. And limited free parking will be available at public parking spaces around the downtown area of South Cape Coral, according to the event's Web site.
For more information, visit gulfcoastsymphony.org, or call 277-1700.