Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened

It’s about three quarters of the way through the semester, which means it’s time for the music and theatre departments at Mary Washington to be presenting their fall performances. So we have a windfall of events to choose from in the next few weeks, and so far this weekend, we’ve gone to two UMW performances. Last night we saw the Wind and Percussion Ensemble (aka concert band) present “An Evening of Student Selections,” all pieces chosen by a committee of students, which turned out to mean that for a change, the concert featured completely accessible pieces, like John Williams’ movie music, selections from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and ending with a bang (a boom?) with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. My kind of music. Yes, I admit I like my classical music to be familiar and my bands to play movie themes. And when two musicians wait secretly in the balcony behind the audience through the whole second half of the concert, just waiting for the very end when they will get to bang the hell out of the bass drums for a few seconds, well, that’s just a bonus.

We got doubly lucky this weekend, and caught the UMW Theatre Department’s presentation of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (running through Nov. 18). Mary Washington has an above average theatre department, and almost everything they put on is really good. But feel-good musicals are rarely on the schedule—you’re more likely to get an obscure and intense drama. So this turned out to be an unexpected treat, and they really did a terrific job. Snappy direction, great sets, and a cast that could sing well. I would even say that it exceeded expectations. So in this case, I was actually thinking about joining in the inevitable standing ovation, but surprise! The cast took their bows so quickly, that before anyone had a chance to stand, the houselights were back on.

Now if we wanted to complete the Trifecta, we could go to a tuba recital tomorrow night. Not just any tuba recital, but a tubaist (tubist?) from the Boston Symphony and one from the U.S. Marine Band. But that might make the weekend just a little too highbrow. I might have to stay home and watch reality television while chugging beer and eating chips.

Image courtesy of the UMW Dept. of Theatre and Dance, because you know I can't take pictures during a performance. And by "courtesy of," I mean I stole it from their website.

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