More performance updates
Again, to try and catch up from slacking...
Last weekend my wife and I went with her sister and sister's husband to see White Christmas at the Wang Center. I had never seen the movie before citing personal preference for things that aren't hokey, but my wife and her sister were all over it. Natalie bought antique Opera glasses on eBay for herself and her sister and they actually worked very well. The brother-in-law, having seen the movie, was less than enthusiastic, but I really enjoyed it. We sat in about the 6th row from the very back of the uppermost attic mezzanine seating, and I was surprised at how good the seats actually were. I've been to the Wang many times in the past, but have always been on the ground floor, so to speak, and I had heard horror stories about the higher-up seating, it was actually great. Plus we had the cutest little girl sitting adjacent to us who was clapping for everything, and seemed just as interested in the beam of light from the spotlight in the booth as she was in anything happening on stage.
Over Thanksgiving, we saw The Three Phantoms via a lucky coincidence and free tickets. I had never been to the Blumenthal Center before. Worst, website, ever. I linked as close as I dared to photos of the inside, there are evidently none just hanging around on the site. In any case, it was a great "new" theatre. In any case though, they seem not to have taken any photos from the audience perspective toward the stage, which was lined by a badass looking pipe-organ. Unfortunately, through what I'm certain is just a bonehead oversight, the organ piece for the Bigtime Phantom Number was played on some Kurtzweill dinkly boink keyboard instead. I imagine that the Big Ass Organ, assuming it's real, would have shaken that entire venue and been about the coolest backing instrument for these three guys, shame. I'm very used to the theatres in Boston, which are absolutely gorgeous and beautifully restored, but this was one that seemed to be designed for todays "taller, fatter American". It was very comfortable, sounded great, which is what mattered, and there didn't seem to be a bad seat in the house. From the photos we appeared to be in the second mezzanine, and we could see perfectly. The show was really enjoyable, and we had seen the goateed gent in the touring company of Phantom earlier this year at the Boston Opera House. I am not traditionally one for show tunes and Broadway shows, but that show, plus the Three Phantoms, is quickly turning me.
I didn't realize until just now that the Lion King was the inaugural presentation at the recently restored Opera House. We saw that during the playoff series in 2004, and it was totally surreal. At intermission when I went to smoke, everyone was huddled around the glass at Felt to catch what we could of a few plays as they happened. The train ride out to BC to drop off another sister-in-law was brutal, because we'd be above ground, getting scores, then my Treo would black out, then we'd come out of the tunnel, and it would work again, and the conducter would start asking if anyone knew the score, and we'd all yell up to him.
Ramble Ramble Ramble, too much Sam, then some Guinness will do that to a guy. I guess the point is, when you are missing quality industrial shows, not to worry, go watch some show-tunes and cheer up. I never. Ever. Ever, thought I'd be going to see a production of White Christmas or Phantom or somesuch, but they were all really enjoyable, and the "3 Phantoms" in Charlotte was a real treat, funny, and very entertaining. Even though I kept imagining that backstage all three may just as easily have been in full "Superstar Broadway Guy" mode screaming at each other and the help. That thought only added to my enjoyment and, while I'm sure it isn't remotely the case, made me smile. BIG props go out the Charlotte Pops, since with only two dates, I'm sure they didn't have a whole lot of time to get the material down and almost zero time, if any, to practice with the featured artists themselves. I'm kind of curious as to how that works city-to-city actually.