After repeated visits here to conduct his signature production, “Bugs Bunny on Broadway,” George Daugherty has come to think of Cleveland as a second home.
The Emmy-winning conductor and producer has debuted two other productions with the Cleveland Orchestra and Blossom Festival Orchestra. Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center are among his favorite music venues, and he makes it a point to dig in at chef Michael Symon’s Lola and Lolita restaurants while in town.
“You don’t find restaurants with an Iron Chef in [many] other cities,” the affable 54-year-old San Francisco resident declares.
This summer, Daugherty returns to unveil a new touring show at Blossom Music Center that celebrates the 20th anniversary of his popular Bugs Bunny production.
“Bugs Bunny on Broadway” features classic cartoon scenes projected on large screens while a live orchestra performs the musical scores. Daugherty who will once again conduct the Blossom Festival Orchestra during the show’s two-night run here, says the updated production includes favorites such as “What’s Opera, Doc?” which is set to themes from eight Wagner operas and “Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl,” which rolls to the Die Fledermaus Overture.
Even after two decades, Daugherty’s playful production continues to draw sellout audiences throughout the globe. But he admits there are still concertgoers who harbor dire — albeit hilarious — misconceptions about the show.
“Every once in awhile, someone will say, ‘Now, is this an ice show, or do you have big fuzzy characters who stand up in front of the orchestra and sing?’ ”