an evening with amarillo's symphony is always a welcome respite from the everyday, hum drum life at 7420. i've never claimed to know anything about classical music, i don't have an "ear" for it, yet an evening at the symphony can make inroads toward taming this savage beast.
last night's concert was titled "bravo broadway". my favorite of the season is always the "pops' concert. there's something about having a familiarity with the music that increases my listening pleasure. it enhances the experience when, by knowing the "piece" being played, one can better appreciate the nuance, the touch exerted by the maestro and our symphony musicians.
last night featured three vocalists, all with experience on broadway in "leading roles". talk about some "pipes", these folks can flat out "sang". debbie gravitte got the evening off to a start, (after the three had rendered a montage of songs from "gypsy") singing "don't rain on my parade from "funny girl".
Next up was doug labrecque. in something of an unexpected turn, singing "over the rainbow" from "the wizard of oz". he, and his golden voice and limpid eyes, rendered a rendition fit to make one forget the song had ever been sung by "what was her name"?
after the rainbow was over, anne runolfsson sang "ding dong, the witch is dead", also of the wofoz fame. later in the program she favored us with a tender "memory" from "cats". in a word, moving.
among the memorable performances after intermission-- a "mamma mia! medly from the trio, dl's "bring him home", "the phantom of the opera" from ar and dl, "music of the night" from dl and an a.l.webber "love trio' from "the trio".
it has been rumored that maestro kimbo ishii-eto is not fond of "pops" performances. if true, he hides it well. with his extremely adept baton at the ready, he dipped and grooved, his famous hair on the fly, eliciting nothing short of broadway magic from the symphony musicians.
the music of the broadway stage, the scores, the lyrics, when separated from the story that surrounds them can still serve to move, to entertain immensely. this trio connected with the amarillo audience. injecting bits of humor at the expense of one another and good natured jibes re: our texas accents, with a bit of nifty choreography thrown in, these three earned the standing "o" they received. to their credit, all gave props to kimbo and the orchestra, whose performances were no less deserving of the standing "o" as well.
an added bonus for the evening was the mirror ball flashing stars across the geodesic expanse of the performing arts center as the symphony played the "jesus christ superstar" overture. one could lose himself , the moment transfusing a sense of outer space and inner peace. aio