Saturday, February 20, 2010

The American Ballet Theatre's "Romeo and Juliet" and Phil Vassar at the Paramount

We have gone to two great music events recently.

A couple of weeks ago we saw the American Ballet Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet at the Kennedy Center.

I'd never seen a ballet before, at least not as far as I can remember. I really enjoyed it - what a cool combination of music, art and athleticism (though I doubt I'd have appreciated it as much when younger). It was like a painting to music.

I've definitely enjoyed some musicals (though not all that I've seen), but the nice thing about the ballet is that I could get lost in the music and dancing -- the plot faded in importance. That said, I knew the general story and I liked having some sense of framework, and I wonder if I'd enjoy, as much, a ballet about a story that I don't know.

Sergei Prokofiev wrote the music for Romeo and Juliet in 1935; it was commissioned by the Kirov Ballet. There were a few major themes (motifs?) that kept recurring in the music, and I liked the feeling of becoming familiar with them over the course of the performance.

The leads who played Romeo and Juliet could really move gracefully. I guess that's the entire idea of ballet, but I had to see it to appreciate it.

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Last weekend, on Valentine's Day, we saw Phil Vassar at the Paramount. Tuck and Lizee gave us tickets as our Christmas present.

What a super show!!! He is a really charismatic entertainer, running around the stage and interacting with the audience and his band. His mom was in the crowd and he asked her to choose a song, which I loved.

He played "Carlene" second - it's always a fun treat to hear a song live that you've listened to (and sung along with) so many times over the years. My favorite of the night, though, was "I'm Allright," which Vassar wrote for Jo Dee Messina. He was absolutely jamming on the piano (which he periodically jumped on top of during the show), and I love the way the verses to that song are sung fast and cheerfully.

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