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Indigo Girls Concert

Posted by barb on Aug 19, 2003 in Concerts

We went to see the Indigo Girls at Wolf Trap this evening. As always, they put on a great concert. They played several new songs from an album that should be released in early 2004. I think both Andrew and I liked all of the new pieces they played, though in particular, I liked “One Perfect World” (or just Perfect World…the memory is not what it used to be).

Unfortunately, we were seated behind the World’s Most Annoying Girls (TM). Two of them didn’t show up until the third or fourth number, and then they just had to keep talking to each other during the entire concert. The one in front of me seemed to be attempting to increase her cross-section as much as humanly possible by constantly moving from one side to the other (not in time with music or anything, just kind of spastic). Andrew and I debated whether they were on drugs or just stupid. I voted for stupid.

 
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Biking in Vienna and The Reduced Shakespeare Company

Posted by barb on Jul 16, 2003 in Biking, Concerts, Pictures

Since Maggie and Jim have recently taken up mountain biking, I thought we could go for a bike ride while Maggie was here. We rented her a bike at Spokes, Etc. in Vienna, and went for about 4 miles up the W&OD trail (Washington and Old Dominion — an old railroad that was turned into a bike trail). Maggie quite enjoyed being able to go fast, since usually she’s going up and down so much that she can just take off. We reached 17 mph on a straight away, and on our way back down a hill, we got up to 26 mph!

This evening we had tickets for The Reduced Shakespeare Company ‘s All the Great Books at the Kennedy Center. I’d seen RSC’s Shakespeare performance on PBS last year, so I was really looking forward to tonight’s performance. I was not disappointed!

Picture of Andrew and me on the viewing deck of the Kennedy Center, with the Lincoln memorial in the background:

Me and Andrew on the Kennedy Center terrace

 
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Gershwin Galore!

Posted by barb on Jun 14, 2003 in Concerts

We bought tickets for the NSO “Gershwin Galore” show at Wolf Trap a couple weeks ago. We figured that it had to stop raining all the time by then, so we bought lawn tickets. Hee hee hee. Our county was under a storm warning pretty much all day, and in the afternoon we went to Target to get a couple lawn chairs to sit on, since the lawn would undoubtedly be wet. While we were there, the clouds rolled in. About a half hour later, while checking out a local used bookstore (McKays, which had a very large selection of sci-fi!), the rain started pouring down.

Well, nothing to do but go to the concert with an umbrella.

As it turned out, the storm must have passed to our south, because we didn’t get rained on, and in fact the clouds broke up just enough to see a couple of stars. The storm didn’t dissipate, though, because right as the orchestra was hitting the last note, a flash of lightening sparked in the distance.

Pieces that we heard:

Cuban Overture — I quite liked this one. I had forgotten that this one was first, and wondered why the Piano Concerto had a Caribbean feel to it. Duh!

Piano Concerto in F

Rhapsody in Blue — always love to hear this one. It reminds me of my first date with Andrew nearly three years ago, when we went to see Fantasia 2000

Porgy and Bess suite

 
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Symphony

Posted by barb on May 15, 2003 in Concerts

Andrew originally wanted to turn these tickets in, because of the flute concerto. But I like the flute, so I told him we were going. I’ve been to two concerts with pieces he really wanted to hear, but that made me want to rip my ears out (I plugged my ears during one of them), so it seemed only fair that he would have to suffer through one night. As it turned out, though, he enjoyed the piece.

Here’s what we heard:
Mozart, Overture to The Marriage of Figaro , K. 492 This one sounded very familiar — is some company using it in their ads currently?? Enjoyable piece, though. Khachaturian, Violin Concerto (transcribed for flute by Jean-Pierre Rampal) I enjoyed the flute solos and the slower, quieter bits of this piece. One of the movements reminded me a bit of Hyden’s Surprise Symphony, with quiet, lulling parts followed abruptly by loud, crashing passages. However, the loud passages were not very pleasing — they were an unpleasant assault on my ears and senses. The other movements were more to my liking. Dvorak, Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 I don’t actually remember much about this piece anymore…if I could find my program, that might jar my memory a bit.
Overall, a nice evening at the NSO. Just don’t get me started on the audience (worst offender was a former candy-lady who brought quieter candy this time, but couldn’t stop tapping her foot for all to hear).

 
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The Robin Hood Project

Posted by barb on May 4, 2003 in Concerts, Movies

Andrew introduced me to Hesperus shortly after we started dating. In fact, the first fall we were together, he bought a season subscription for their local concerts. I’ve enjoyed all of the concerts we have attended (though I keep missing the Christmas, Dancing Day, concert). Hesperus performs early music (i.e. Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque) on instruments from the period (or reproductions of period instruments).

The concert today was a new score they had arranged for the 1922 silent film version of Robin Hood. They had chosen music from the time of the Robin Hood legends, and performed the score while screening the film. The music, obviously, was quite appropriate, though I remember thinking once that the hunting song they chose was a bit weird for the goings-on on the screen. The film was a lot of fun, though the “prologue” seemed to take up half of the film. In fact, we didn’t get to King Richard (the lion-hearted) leading his men off to the Crusades for about an hour. The “Robin Hood” part of the film took up only the last 45 minutes or so.

 
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World Figure Skating Championship Exhibition

Posted by barb on Mar 30, 2003 in Concerts

My parents are in town for the next week, which worked out very nicely since the World Figure Skating Championships were last week. My mom has always been a bit figure skating fan, so I got us tickets to the exhibition show today. Andrew didn’t come with us, since he’s not much for ice skating (or any sport, for that matter), so it was just Mom, Dad and me.

It was a great show! I usually watch the exhibitions when they air them on ABC, and it’s in some ways more fun than the competition. The skaters are much more relaxed, so that even if they are skating one of the programs they used for competition, they usually do a much better (or at least less tense) performance.

Notable performances:

  • Michael Weiss skated to a montage of Rolling Stone songs, and his first jump is his tornado — back flip with a full twist. Wow!
  • Elena Sokolova did a program that was memorable merely because neither my mother or I understand it at all. I think it might have helped if we’d known what the music was from, because it was obvious that she was skating some kind of story. She started out in a monk-like robe with a cross on the back. She shed the robe about half-way through.
  • Evgeni Plushenko had fun with his program — he came out in a comical, oversized mask, reminiscent of the life-sized puppets I’ve seen at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. He was dressed in bold colors — orange and bright purple. He had an “I Love You” heart-shaped balloon in one gloved hand. During the program, he went to the sideline to give the balloon to a woman, but it floated to the ceiling instead. A bit later, he pulled out a flower to give to another woman, but as she reached for it, it wilted. About half-way through the program, he took off the mask and top, and things got a bit more serious, with a couple triple jumps and foot work. Very fun performance. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the music he skated to.
  • Michelle Kwan, of course, was the highlight of the afternoon. She did the same program she did after the 2002 Olympics, to “Fields of Gold”. I was moved again by it, remembering her tears during the performance after losing the gold at the Olympics. This time she was all smiles.

Of course there were other great performances, but they are all running together in my head. I may have more to say if I watch the show on ABC next weekend.

One embarrassing “highlight” of the afternoon. After Sasha Cohen skated, Mom and I decided to go to the ladies’ room, to avoid the rush at intermission. We started leaving while the lights were on, but they had gone down again by the time we got to the stairs down to the exit. I missed the first step, falling face-first down the steps. Fortunately the stairs turned after the top two, so that I was able to catch myself instead of going headlong down all of them. As I was falling, I heard the section above me do a collecting “oohh” at my misstep. This, perhaps, was the worst part. I stood up, smiled sheepishly, and told them all that I was alright. Then I limped off to down the remaining stairs and off to the ladies’ room. I so wanted to just crawl home without facing the crowd again. I now have a bruise and scrape on each of my legs — my left knee and my right shin — which will serve as a short-term souvenir of my trip to the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships. Sigh.

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