Now Playing: Rhapsody in Blue
I'm telling you .. Wow.
We're back in the "How many times can Helen go to Krannert in one month" season, and I just spent an evening listening to more music. What's so special about that? Well...
I knit not one stitch all evening!
How could this happen you say??
It started with dinner at a local tapas place with a dear friend (she's the nice prosecutor in our county -- at least, she's nice to those of us on the "right" side of the law). The food was fantastic, the conversation lively, and the company delightful. I'll bore you with that another time.
After dinner we headed over to the performing arts center, where we found all the parking lots full. Full I tell you! We had to park in the nearby museum parking lot. That left us very little time to get into the building, order our intermission drinks (gotta like a place that has your drink waiting at intermission) and go to the rest room before "curtain time."
We then settled in at 10th row, barely off-center, to see and hear Marvin Hamlisch conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (who, by the way, has as its patron HRH the Duke of York -- how fun is that?) in an evening of George Gershwin. It started with a delightful medley from "Porgy and Bess" and rounded out the first half with an amazing young pianist, Viv Mclean, playing Rhapsody in Blue (you can hear a wee snippet of it in audio sample 4). He was amazing. He took a well known piece and really inspired you to listen to it again. It was incredible. (I could go on for ages with more superlatives -- and that might come up to the reality... maybe).
After a twenty minute intermission, during which we ran into half of the judges in the county and any number of movers and shakers in the community, (I'm still working on how we got in) the packed house refilled for more Gershwin songs, a few delightful stories about Gershwin as told to Mr. Hamlisch by Groucho Marx, of all people, and an exceptional performance of An American in Paris.
Already, I was at WOW.
The music was so consistently wonderful that pulling out my knitting wasn't even at the back of my mind, much less near enough to the front to do anything about it.
But that wasn't the end of our evening...
We'd paid the bonus price to allow us to attend an after concert Champagne Reception. Once again, the food (caviar no less) was delightful, the wine was good, and the conversation lively. But the entertainment... Marvin played for us! We were milling about on one of the stages, and he sat at the piano on that same stage with us, and played a medley of his mother's favorite composer's music (Richard Rogers), followed by a medley of his own tunes .. including a fine selection from A Chorus Line
Meanwhile, a note on the knitting front, I'm joining
for the Knitting g Olympics. Here is why I think I qualify -- there are ten criteria, of which the Team Wales captain says one need meet only one:
1. You were born in Wales. -- I was, alas, NOT born in Wales
2. You reside in Wales -- nor do I live in Wales. Yet... Give me a way to make a fairly decent income there, and I might just move my family across the pond. I might even ask them about it first.
3. You are of Welsh ancestry. (Surname of Davies, Evans, Morgan, Jones, etc.) ... Ding! I believe this is true. Family name of Whatley though... But I'm fairly sure that if we go back far enough, there're Welsh folk there
4. You have great a fondness for sheep OR daffodils OR leeks.... I'm inordinately fond of sheep, despite having met only two. My grandfather gave me a stuffed lamb the day I was born, ... I still have the sorry thing, but it now has many friends including a magnificent stuffed ram.
I also love daffodils. I'm not big on leeks generally, but leek soup can be quite nice.
5. You think Wales has a really cool flag..... I don't think it. I KNOW it. I love that flag!
6. You cry every time you hear a Male Voice Choir singing Bread of Heaven OR while watching How Green Was My Valley. ... well.. er, um... I must confess, I've mumble
never seen How Green Was My Valley
7. You have attempted to sing the Welsh National Anthem, and you weren't drunk at the time. er, mumble again
I've never even heard it
8. You have actually been to Wales.... DING .. I have indeed. Sadly, it was nigh onto 20 years ago. I'm still in awe of some of the craftsmanship in Cardiff Castle (and pissed that they neither let me take pictures nor had a decent book to buy).
9. You have always wanted to visit Wales.... I've long wanted to go back, does that count?
10. You know where Wales is... yes again...
here's the really twisted part... I really want to LEARN to SPEAK Welsh... I've even bought a book and CD to do so. I can pronounce the "ll" properly.
I now need someone wise in the ways of tripod to help me get my buttons on the sidebars... They REFUSE to cooperate with me.
Tomorrow: toes get finished on the Jaywalkers!