Monday, February 08, 2010

Shows: The Drowsy Chaperone and The Opera Show

Shows

Last month we saw two wonderful shows as part of the West Virginia University Arts Series.

The Drowsy ChaperoneThe Drowsy Chaperone

The Drowsy Chaperone reminded me of when I would watch Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in movies like Shall We Dance and The Gay Divorcee. I loved the dancing in those old movies, especially since I had thirteen years of lessons, and I loved the costumes. As a child I assumed everyone lived like Fred and Ginger did way back in the 30s because you would never know there was a depression going on by the opulence of the characters' lives. But maybe that was why people liked them; they were an escape.

Escape was the premise of The Drowsy Chaperone, with its winking satire and endearing narrator. The highest compliment to an artist, in my opinion, is knowing you provided someone a place to go and pretend for a little while. That's what I'd like people to say about my fiction one day.

The Opera Show didn't bring as much nostalgia as opened my eyes and ears to something new that was actually old. My Grandmother Ruby often listened to opera, and though it was never distasteful to me, I never gained an appreciation of this incredible art in my childhood.

Experiencing opera in an almost Cirque du Soleil type fashion made me feel I had been missing something. To use the human voice as such a diverse instrument amazed me. At one point, one of the female singer's mic went out, but she compensated to the point that we were almost sorry the crew foxed the problem by the next act because that type of voice doesn't need to be filtered through anything. Although, I suppose the amplification helps to save their voices a bit.

Always a fan of huge productions, bright lights, sparkly costumes, dramatic make up, and The Opera Show didn't disappoint me. Of all the shows we saw this season, it ranks just below RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles as a favorite.

The Opera ShowThe Opera Show

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