Heather Headley's Broadway My Way | The Philly Pops

Heather Headley's Broadway My Way

Ron Colvard, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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12 October 2018
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Heather Headley, vocalist

Hugh Panaro, vocalist

The Philly POPS BIG Band

Tony and Grammy winner, R&B hitmaker, and international singing sensation Heather Headley comes to Philadelphia for a one-night-only show with The Philly POPS BIG Band at the Kimmel Center.

Heather is the original Nala from The Lion King on Broadway, the Tony-winning star of Aida and the Laurence Olivier Award nominee for her star turn in ​The Bodyguard musical. She’s a Grammy winner and Billboard chart topper for her R&B and Gospel albums. She has recently toured with Andrea Bocelli — POPS audiences saw her last December at the Wells Fargo Center.

Heather also performed at July 3’s POPS on Independence with the full POPS orchestra and July 4’s POPS on the Parkway with the BIG Band. These free, large-scale Salute Series shows previewed this special show at the Kimmel Center on October 12.

Complementing Heather’s performance will be Broadway giant and Philadelphia native, Hugh Panaro. Hugh is famous for his portrayal of The Phantom in The Phantom of The Opera on Broadway and for his role as Jean Valjean in a Walnut Street Theatre production of Les Misérables—a role which earned him the Barrymore Award. Hugh will sing several pieces, including solos and duets with Heather.

Helpful Information

This program, including intermission, is approximately two hours in length. Artists and program are subject to change without notice. Discounted parking passes are available from select garages. For more information, please call 215.893.1999 or add a parking pass during checkout when purchasing your tickets.


We hope all of our guests will have a great time and make many memories at our concerts and events. Post your photos or videos on social media and include #phillypops for a chance to win a pair of tickets to any upcoming concert in the current or following season! Please refrain from flash photography in the concert hall. 

Enjoy the show!

Guest Artists
Heather Headley

Heather Headley, vocalist


Tony and Grammy Award winner Heather Headley originated the role of Nala in the original Broadway cast of the Elton John and Tim Rice’s hit Tony-winning musical The Lion King. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her portrayal in the title role in Aida.

She has been named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” and Essence Magazine’s “30 Women To Watch.” Heather followed up her Broadway success on the pop charts with her 2002 debut album on RCA Records, This Is Who I Am, which featured productions by several top-flight producers including Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Shep Crawford. Two songs — “He Is” and “I Wish I Wasn’t” — both emerged as Top 5 R&B and Dance chart hits.

Heather earned numerous accolades for This Is Who I Am, including Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards for R&B/Soul Album of the Year and Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist, NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding New Artist and Outstanding Female Artist, and BET Awards in the “Cool Like That” category.

In January 2006, Heather returned with her long-awaited second solo album In My Mind, once again working with an A-list of producers, among them Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Ne-Yo, Warryn Campbell, and Lil’ Jon. The title track became Heather’s first #1 hit, topping the Dance charts.

Heather took her first foray into the gospel music world in 2009 with the release of her third studio album Audience of One — for which she won the Grammy Award for the Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album.

In 2016, Heather made a triumphant return to Broadway playing Shug Avery in The Color Purple.

Over the past few years, she has displayed her versatility as one of classical star Andrea Bocelli’s favorite singing partners in many of his American and international tours.

She has performed on numerous daytime and late night shows, including The View, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show, and The Late Show.  She was the spokesperson for the March of Dimes and led their “I Want My 9 Months” campaign, and also serves on the board of Directors for the Catalyst Charter Schools in Chicago.

Heather was born in Trinidad and is a Northwestern University alum.

Hugh Panaro

Hugh Panaro, vocalist


Hugh Panaro is perhaps best known for having played the coveted role of the Phantom in Broadway's The Phantom of the Operaover 2,000 times, including the 25th Anniversary production. In fact, Hugh is one of the few actors to be cast by Harold Prince as both The Phantom and Raoul in the show's Broadway production and is currently starring as the titular role in the immersive Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd.Hugh made his Broadway debut in the original production of Les Misérablesas Marius, the role he originated in the First National Company. He also created the roles of Buddy in the original Side Show (Sony cast recording); Julian Craster in Jule Styne's last musical, The Red Shoes;and the title role in the American premiere of Cameron Mackintosh's Martin Guerre. Hugh was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance in the title role of Elton John's Lestat, based on Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. He made his West End debut in the original London company of Harold Prince's Show Boat as Gaylord Ravenal, the role he previously played in the Broadway and Toronto productions.At the prestigious 5thAvenue Theater in Seattle, Hugh played George Seurat in Sam Buntrock's Tony Award-winning production of Sunday in the Park with George, and Robert in Stephen Sondheim's Company.Hugh's performance as Jean Valjean in the Walnut Street Theater's production of Les Misérables earned him the prestigious Barrymore Award, for which he was again nominated after a turn as Fagin in Oliver! In 2012,Hugh was honored with the Edwin Forrest Award for his long-term contribution to the theater. An active concert artist, Panaro has performed with numerous symphony orchestras including Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, SeattleUtah Symphonies, and the London Sinfonietta, among many others. He had the privilege of performing in the world premiere of Penderecki’s Te Deumat Carnegie Hall and was a guest soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch. His recordings include Jerome Kern Treasury, the original cast recording of Side Show, Tap Your Troubles Away(Herman), The Centennial(Weil), and Life On The Wicked Stage(Kern). His first solo CD, recorded with Sony/BMG, was released in the summer of 2007. In addition, he toured throughout Europe with the legendary Barbra Streisand. A native of Philadelphia, Panaro graduated from Temple University and was awarded the Boyer College of Music Certificate of Honor.

The Philly POPS BIG Band


The Philly POPS BIG Band performs throughout the Philadelphia region. Composed of 18-20 musicians – five saxophones, five trumpets, four trombones, a drum set, a piano, a guitar, and bass – the BIG Band plays swing, ragtime and jazz in the style of the Count Basie Orchestra and Harry James Band while expanding its repertoire into all kinds of popular music from Latin to funk and rock. The Philly POPS BIG Band members were chosen for their passion for popular music. Each is also a teaching artist, adept at instructing the next generation of musicians.

"This woman is one of the great entertainers of the day, on record and on stage.” —Billboard Magazine
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