Saturday, June 14, 2008

Strictly Gershwin...well not quite

The Budman and I are starting to emerge from our "all work and no play" black hole. There is light at the end of the tunnel...dawn is breaking...victory is in our grasp...ok, you get the point...we are finally able to enjoy the perks of living in London as opposed to just working and sleeping here.

As part of the moths emerging from the cocoons, we are slowly but surely starting to enjoy some of the attractions, events, and sights of London. And that includes all the fabulous shows. I'll fill you in on some of those excursions later but for now, our first ever trek to the Royal Albert Hall was to see the English National Ballet dance to the music of the Gershwins.

Pluses of this event:

(1) historical venue - does it get better than the R.A.H.?
(2) the music of Ira and George - a personal fav of mine - a mixture of Broadway, Porgy and Bess, An American in Paris and A Rhapsody in Blue
(3) an easy jaunt into the center of London via the District Line - no replacement works this weekend
(4) beautiful dancing (and costumes, I might add)
(5) and of course, the obligatory people watching

On a scale of 5, a solid 4.5, with a slightly flat first number which was more than made up for by the finale...The full dance company's rendition of a Rhapsody in Blue. Outstanding.

The title was aptly named because it was only the music of Gershwin performed, hence the name Strictly Gershwin. The music was outstanding for the most part and was pretty much strictly gershwin...except...for the lady sitting next to the Budman.

Why do people think they can sing the lyrics of these songs with the performers? The Budman had a serenade all night by the lady to his left (and it was not me, BTW) who decided to accompany the singers and orchestra.

What makes people think this is OK? Are they simply unconscious they are singing, let alone how loudly they are doing it? When is it ever OK to turn a concert into a sing-a-long? Better yet, can you ask someone sitting next to you to put the kabosh on the singing, shut it down, turn it off, and just sit politely like our mommas taught us to do and just listen to the music?

As for me, I only heard it ever so faintly, and in the rare odd moments. My personal method of dealing with amateur singers is usually not to say anything at all, but rather impart the sideway glance with the uplifted left eyebrow.

Works every time.


Anonymous said...

short answer: Yes. you can say something and I have on occasion. nothing worse than someone thinking they can sing Everything's Coming Up Roses better than Patti Lupone

...Lovely as she may be, I didn't pay to hear Erma Weinstein from Long island's version of Gypsy, thank you very much... ;-)

-- my

Anonymous said...

Representing all the people who sing along to concerts, I apologize profusely! ha! Sounds like fun anyway! Tammy