Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ninety nine ways to play

For the last several months I seem to have been on a cultural voyage. I've been to concerts, plays, symphonies, name it!

Last weekend, for example, my mother and I went to see Alice in Wonderland performed by the Ballet Repertory Company at my favorite theatre, the KiMo. Inspired from Lewis Carroll's original fantasy world, choreographer Alex Ossadnik premieres another new masterpiece for Ballet Repertory Theatre. Join Alice on her adventures through Wonderland in this magical ballet - a delightful fantasy filled with wonder! It's performing again this weekend, FYI.

It was delightful! When Alice drank the liquid and ate the cake she really appeared to shrink and grow on stage. She chased the White Rabbit all around and danced with the twins, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the caterpillar, the Mad Hatter, the White Queen and her ensemble. and the Red Queen with her ensemble of cards. She helped bake tarts with the Duchess and tamed the Jabberwocky.

It has been a long time since I've seen a ballet and I was happy to see all the little girls in the audience all dressed up in their finest dresses, sitting speechless and spellbound for the two hour duration. It reminded me of when my mother and I went to see the play of Beauty and the Beast (check out the videos) just a few months ago. That too, was an awesome performance! Many of the little girls in the audience were dressed in yellow gowns just like Belle.

Belle sounded just like she does in the video and Gaston! Oh my, Gaston was...unforgettable. Every time he was on stage he commanded your attention. And the Beast was fierce and beastly until he turned kind and sweet as time passed. The sets and costumes were fantastic. Mrs. Potts and Chip were there and so was Lumiere and all the rest.

We also saw the Symphony Orchestra perform Haydn's Creation last weekend. Here is a video of part of it.

It was very good but you have to like classical music. There must have been almost 200 people on stage between the choir and the full orchestra. My mother started coughing and the lady in front turned around and gave her a piece of gum. lol. Be quiet!!

Around Christmas, my church hosts the East Mountain Community Chorus and their production of Handel's Messiah. Frankly, I prefer the Creation. Except for the stand out chorus of Hallelujah! Hallelujah!... over all, the Creation is lighter and more palatable. So, I saw that too.

I also took my mother and mother-in-law to see the Glenn Miller Orchestra last month as a Christmas present. I was pleasantly surprised that I recognized an awful lot of their swingtime pieces: In the Mood, String of Pearls, Moonlight Serenade, American Patrol, and so many more. It was a wonderful evening out for the three of us.

Last month, I saw Wicked. It has been getting rave reviews but I must admit, I was a little disappointed. It was a good story and the cast sang wicked but I didn't think the Wicked Witch of the West should be so pretty. Oh yes, she was green, but she could have been a little witchier. And Glinda, sounded too much like she was playing the part from Legally Blonde, which she has in the past. The people sitting next to me, decked out in witch hats and capes, thought the play was a bit too High School Musical, their words, at the intermission. I really did like the way they worked in how the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Man came to be. Also, it was fun knowing more about the Wicked Witch of the East. If you can go see it, I'd recommend it, but personally, I just wish they had cast a skinny, cackly, bump on the nose type of Wicked Witch.

The Color Purple surprised me on how good it was. I was reluctant to go see that one but since my mom and I had season tickets, we went. We both enjoyed it immensely. It's performed very well despite the depressing content- slavery, rape, battery, you name it. The performers played their roles well and the story unfolds before your very eyes.

I'm looking forward to seeing Fiddler on the Roof and Grease in the coming months.

I also went and saw Aladdin Jr. performed by the New Mexico Young Actors Group with my daughter a month ago. That one was fun- Disney style- with some new punch lines added for the kids. Although the actors were all young, they were very professional and the sets and costumes were beautiful.

My son and I went to see Aida at the KiMo Theatre as an Opera in Cinema. This was nice because there were subtitles and close ups. I haven't been to opera before but the costumes were extravagant- Egyptian- and in one scene the dancing couple were nearly naked so it was eye candy for both of us.  What? My son is an adult, nineteen at that time.

My son and I also attended concerts several months ago, Vampire Weekend at the Hard Rock Casino south of the city, and then Muse the next night at an auditorium on the other side of town. Both of them were great! Muse is one of my all time favorite bands and they didn't disappoint. I couldn't hear very well afterwards. lol. It sounded GOOD at the time though! We met many people at the Muse concert who had been to the VW concert the night before. And one of my other all time favorite bands is coming to town next month. Well, actually Santa Fe, but they booked a venue with only 1800 capacity and they sold out in a few hours. I didn't even have a chance at buying a ticket! I was devastated. I have been following them for the past 5 or 6 years and I've never had the chance to see them before. Then, this year, they announced that they would be headlining Coachella, a three day festival in Indio, California. I wanted to go, really bad, but they sold out in 6 hours- a record for that music festival. Then, last month, they got a Grammy for best album and it's been the top of the world for them since. They added more tour dates. Anyway, seeing them come to my back yard and not able to get a ticket, I did the next best thing. I bought tickets for Denver- Road Trip- next month!! Oh yeah, it's Arcade Fire, um, who, you ask? See here for an old post about them.

AND U2! I bought U2 tickets last year on EBay and then a few weeks later the concert was cancelled due to Bono's back injury. The tour was rescheduled and my tickets should still be good. I say should because if the seller wanted to get a refund, even without the tickets, they could. Without the last four of the credit card used for the original purchase, I cannot verify whether a refund was given on the tickets. I know because I called TicketMaster. I can only trust that the seller was honest and didn't get a refund. Should be interesting, driving up to Denver for a concert with iffy tickets.

What about you? Tell me about shows you've been to.

Ninety nine ways to play - song: Sweet Head, artist: David Bowie


Tammy said...

Sounds like you have some nice venues for events like this. Love that you spend this time with your mom. Tell her hi for me.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Such fun!
I've always enjoyed the theater and musicals. I'm glad my kids do, too.

John's favorite band is U2. He'll be so jealous to know you're going to their concert soon.

I'm envious you're going to Denver. I've not been up there for at least 6 years and it's been in my sights for a road trip as well. I've been compiling a letterboxing clue list a mile long! :D


Rising Rainbow said...

Wow, you really have been soaking in the culture. Good for you.

Me, not so much. The only shows I see are going on in my pastures but how I love that kind of entertainment.