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Bill Murray to read Hemingway, dance the tango, sing Gershwin in new performance art show

on February 09, 2017, 12:28pm

It’s easy to look at Bill Murray as the playful goofball when he’s opening bars based on his classic films, playing putt-putt with the POTUS, or voicing animated canines. But the man is a true student of art and entertainment, and his depth of talent goes well beyond bartending and comedy. It’s a side he’ll put on full display this fall when he performs a new show celebrating classic American art at Toronto’s The Royal Conservatory.

On October 13th, Murray will be joined by cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Pereze for a show called New Worlds. The performance will find Murray reading selections from Ernest Hemingway, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain; singing pieces by Stephen Foster and George Gershwin; and even dancing a tango. Showcasing “the core of the American values” in art, the show is described as an “evening where music and literature meet in a clash of words and notes.”

A classically focused Murray might seem a bit strange to those used to his more “Ghostbustin’ Ass” ways — and the actor himself readily admits to being a classical music novice. However, the video below of a New Worlds trial run shot in Berlin last year proves he carries himself with a familiar, steady charm no matter what he’s doing.

Tickets for the Royal Conservatory performance, taking place at Koerner Hall, go on sale February 10th here. Passes start at $99 (about $75 USD), with available gala dinner packages including a three-course meal and a champagne and dessert reception. Find the full scheduled program below.

Johann Sebastian Bach: “Prelude” from Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007
Walt Whitman: from Song of the Open Road and Song of Myself
Stephen Foster: “Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair”
Ernest Hemingway: “With Pascin at the Dome” from A Moveable Feast   
Astor Piazzolla: “La muerte del ángel”
George Gershwin: “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from Porgy and Bess
Astor Piazzolla: “Oblivion”James Fenimore Cooper:  from The Deerslayer

Maurice Ravel: “Blues” from Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2

James Thurber: “If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox” from Writings and Drawings, Library of America

Henry Mancini: “Moon River”
Mark Twain: from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Leonard Bernstein: “Somewhere,” “I Feel Pretty” & “America” from West Side Story (arr. Stephen Buck)

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