There are certain pieces of theme music in television and film that are instantly recognizable. Unless you have been living at the North Pole (though not necessarily true in today's electronic age), the first few bars of James Bond's theme song instantaneously conjure an image and prepare you for an adventurous ride.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, together with guest Pops conductor Michael Krajewski and Tony Award-winning Broadway singer Debbie Gravitte, wants audiences to buckle-up and prepare for "Bond and Beyond: 50 years of 007."
Twenty-three films have told Bond's ongoing story from 1962 to the present, making the saga of 007 the longest continually running series in movie history. The signature songs and instrumental tracks are now considered classic pieces of music, such as Dame Shirley Bassey's performance of "Goldfinger." The job of presenting these and other unmistakably identifiable Bond songs falls to Gravitte, who is looking forward to working with the Baltimore Symphony on this show, a program she has done a number of times with other orchestras across the nation.
"The music carries the show, and the minute you hear that Bond theme, it all comes flooding back to you," she said. "With every song, the audience plays the movie in their heads. And that's what's so cool about the show, because the film soundtrack is usually recorded by an orchestra."
|BSO SuperPops: 'Bond and Beyond: 50 Years of 007'|
|» Where: Strathmore, 5301; Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda|
|» When: 8 p.m. Thursday|
|» Info: $28 to $63; 410-783-8000; bsomusic.org|
More to the point, audiences are hearing these themes the way they first encountered them on the wide screen. More than one audience member will surely be able recall the black album jacket, with the serenely shimmering woman suffocated in gold paint from head to toe. It can only be the cover of "Goldfinger."
"I love the Bond movies, and I know them all so well," said Gravitte, who will be performing such classics as "Goldfinger" and "Diamonds Are Forever," Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice," Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" and, most recently, Adele's Academy Award-winning original song, "Skyfall."
While she doesn't want to give away too much of the show, especially the "Beyond" part of the title, Gravitte, by way of a good natured tease, said, "Tell people to dress accordingly; it is 'Bond -- James Bond' after all."