Joe Boucher tries to keep Robert Moody loose before the maestro takes the stage.

From the wings of Merrill Auditorium, Boucher opens the door for the conductor when the Portland Symphony Orchestra is ready to play.

“I make sure his fly is up,” Boucher said. “My job is to make him laugh before he goes out there.”

The tables turn next weekend when the Portland Symphony Orchestra interprets the music of Billy Joel and Elton John in the PSO Pops! program “Piano Men.” Boucher, who spent years playing rock ‘n’ roll in bar bands, conceived the show and stars as the vocalist and lead piano man.

The concert, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 23 at Merrill, features a four-piece rock band accompanied by the Portland symphony. Moody will conduct.

“For me, the best part is playing with my colleagues,” Boucher said. “They’re all world-class, conservatory-trained musicians. Here I am banging around the bars of Portland for years and years, and I’m sharing the stage with them.”

Boucher, who lives in Portland with his wife, 5-year-old son and infant twins, is the symphony’s concert manager. In addition to opening doors for Moody, he moves pianos, places microphones and speakers, and positions musicians on stage. The job combines his love of music and performance with his skills as a stage manager.

Boucher also worked in the scene shop at Portland Stage Company and spent seven years as stage manager for Avner Eisenberg, the Peaks Island performer known as Avner the Eccentric. Boucher set up stages for Avner all over the world.

But his first love was always music.

Boucher, 45, grew up in Biddeford playing mostly piano and guitar. He spent years in rock bands, most successfully in the Portland band Frotus Caper. In addition to playing bars in Portland, Frotus Caper traveled to college campuses and opened for national acts.

Performance came easy to Boucher. He loved being on stage and enjoyed the front-man role. But he vowed that if he was not making a living as a musician or songwriter by age 35, he would put music aside and treat it as a hobby.

“If I’m not a musician, then what am I now?” he asked himself.

That was about the time he went to work for the Portland Symphony.

Boucher felt perfectly content working in the wings with musicians to get the most of their performance until Moody began booking bands that layer baby boomer music with symphonic arrangements. Boucher noticed people his age showing up for the concerts and realized their emerging interest in classical music likely was rooted in songs like “Yesterday” and albums such as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

And, he thought, why not me?

He and a friend, Boston-based musician Christopher Eastburn, created “Piano Men” on the premise that the lush and layered music of both Joel and John lends itself to orchestration but also is precisely the kind of music that baby boomers want to hear. They may not go to hear bar bands anymore, but they still like to hear familiar music well played, Boucher said.

Boucher and Eastburn put “Piano Men” together in 2011, renting the State Theatre in Portland for a one-time concert that was recorded and filmed. He recruited Robert Lehman and the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra to perform and hired the best band he could afford.

“I called in 20 years worth of professional favors,” he said.

But it was the drummer who got all the attention. When he was working on the show, Boucher got in touch with Liberty DeVitto, a New York session drummer who spent 30 years drumming in Joel’s band. He invited DeVitto to play the inaugural gig, which served as a pilot for the project. Boucher was shocked when DeVitto said yes.

“I had the time of my life,” Boucher said. “Liberty DeVitto playing the show gave us a stamp of authenticity out of the gate.”

DeVitto is not playing the Portland show with the symphony. Steve Hodgkin is the drummer. Gary Backstrom plays guitar and Eastburn is the bassist.

Boucher’s goal is to book the show once a month, taking it out to orchestras around the country. They’ve done a half-dozen concerts so far. The performance with the Portland Symphony will be their largest to date.

“Doing something like this is like launching a cruise ship,” Boucher said. “It takes a long time to build and a long time to steer. We’re just getting going.”

The show features 19 songs, nearly all from the 1970s. Most are widely recognized, including John’s “Rocketman,” “Candle in the Wind” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and Joel’s “Moving Out/Anthony’s Song,” “New York State of Mind” and “Only the Good Die Young.”