Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Evening with Hal Linden

Published in the Severna Park Voice on Sept. 6th.

On Tuesday, September 24, Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated actor Hal Linden will perform with his seven-piece band at Severna Park High School as the opening to the concert season provided by the Anne Arundel Community Concert Association (AACCA). The performance begins at 7:30pm, and doors will open 30 minutes prior.

“An Evening with Hal Linden,” as the cabaret-style act is titled, will showcase Linden’s many talents. “He’s going to talk about his long-term career, and there will be instrumentals and singing,” said Gale Gillespie, board member of AACCA. “It will feel as if you went to a night club.”

Linden will sing and play clarinet to big band hits, Broadway show tunes and jazz songs. “I did a lot on Broadway and not many people know about that,” noted Linden. “So I will be singing songs I sang on Broadway and songs I wish I had sung on Broadway.”

For the dialogue aspect, Linden wants the audience to take away something from his show. “The performance will have an attitude of resiliency – meaning no matter what I’ve done, I am still here,” he divulged. “It’s inspired by a version of ‘I’m Still Here’ from the musical ‘Follies.’”

Although Linden may be best known for his work on the television show “Barney Miller,” the concert will give audiences a glimpse of his versatility. In his teens, Linden learned to play the clarinet and soon after found himself performing with symphony orchestras. He later sang and entertained troops as a member of the United States Army Band. This sparked his interest in acting, which he subsequently pursued to many successes, such as his seven-year stint as Barney Miller.

After many acting roles, Linden chose to revive his musical inclinations and began performing with a big band where he played clarinet and discussed his life and career. This eventually transformed into “An Evening with Hal Linden.”

“This is a show that will appeal to anyone, even kids. A wide range of people can find something they like about this show,” said Gillespie.

Linden added, “The songs I sing are not just melodies, they’re pieces of the show that are hopefully distributable to everyone.”

Although AACCA’s shows are typically two hours long with a 30-minute intermission, Linden has requested the association omit the recess. “Linden’s manager says he prefers not to break [the show] up, since there is a progression to his act, and when you have an intermission, you lose that momentum,” explained Gillespie.

AACCA hopes that bringing in a celebrity will spark great interest from the Anne Arundel community. “We had several calls from people to see him or to join just to go to the ‘Barney Miller’ concert,” Gillespie shared. “It’s good to have an eye-catching entertainer.”

AACCA member subscriptions are available and priced for individuals and families. Members who pay the AACCA subscription fee have access to all concerts at Severna Park High School as well as to the South County Concert Association’s series at Southern High School. But for those who want to be dazzled and enlightened by Linden in particular, tickets to the one-night-only event can also be purchased at the door for $20. To learn more, visit

The Anne Arundel Community Concert Association’s season of not-to-be-missed performances will continue through spring with four more shows following "An Evening with Hal Linden.” Listed below, all performances begin at 7:00pm and are held in the auditorium at Severna Park High School.