17 April 2009

I promise, I'm a little cultured

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to feel like a completely uncultured neanderthal. I'm sure you want to know the story.

It all started when Eric's mom suggested that we try to get tickets to Wicked. (It's playing in Salt Lake City, and the tickets sold out in about three hours, but they do a lottery system before the show each night in which you enter your name for the chance to buy two prime tickets for $25). I figured that we may as well give it a shot.

Our names weren't drawn. We headed over to the restaurant in the Marriott hotel, and I pointed to a sign for the symphony and said, "Eric really wanted to go to the symphony this weekend since they are playing Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto, but it didn't work out with the backpacking trip." As we sat down to dinner, Kathleen (that's Eric's mom) realized that she just might have tickets for the symphony. Each year her dad buys season tickets and then distributes them among the daughters. So she called the ticket office, and sure enough, she did have tickets waiting for her at the concert hall. Of course, the tickets were for tomorrow night. Fortunately, they very obligingly switched the tickets to tonight.

Most amazing performance I have ever attended. In fact, I gave out one of my ten standing ovations. (When you are done reading this post, go read Janssen's post about standing ovations. Seriously. Don't go yet, but soon.)

The pianist, Jon Kimura Parker, even came out for an encore. He sat at the piano, announced that he didn't know what to play, thought about it for a moment and decided to play the first Rachmaninoff piece he ever learned (when he was 15): Prelude in G. It was a short, lovely little piece, and I was almost brought to tears by it. Yes, me. Tears. I know. (Which, hello, encores are great, but I felt rather guilty for the putting the fellow on the spot. I mean, he'd already played the piece that he'd actually prepared and here we were demanding more!)

The rest of the audience loved that piece as much as I did, because we insisted on more, and for his second encore Mr. Parker played a song that he recently played at his high school reunion (thirty years? twenty? Can't remember): Billy Joel's Scenes From an Italian Restaurant. It rocked my world and was the perfect ending to a perfectly lovely night at the symphony.

The only bad thing was that I was not planning on going to the symphony tonight. It was Friday. That is jeans day at work. I had to go to the symphony in JEANS. You have no idea how mortified I was. It was totally worth it, despite my feeling utterly ashamed any time Kathleen introduced me to yet another person she knew. I wanted to wear a sign that said, "I don't normally wear jeans to such events. I do have some class." But, you know, that might have drawn even more attention to myself.

Despite the jeans, I will say, hands down, that tonight was even better than if I had seen Wicked. But I do think I'm going to give that whole lottery thing a few more tries.


Erin said...

One of my friends swears that the way to win the lottery is to make sure you put your name in close to last. It's worked for her several times.

Nemesis said...

I'm going to take Erin's advice, I think. And Sherry, it was so good to meet you!

Giggles said...

Oooh! I love a good piano recital!