Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 1. Day 91. Surprise. Surprise

On your birthday, surprises are good. Mostly. I am still in trauma counselling from the year when my family decided as an April Fool's Day joke they would lie about the presence of my presents. Today wasn't like that. Today the surprises were good. Mostly. For one, I found myself at a Fame concert. Now here's the thing. Last year I celebrated the happy/sad moment of Drama Teen's last Fame concert after 14 years. Today should have been the first Fame concert I hadn't been to for a decade and a half. But I had not one but two reasons for being there. Fame now has a Teacher Feature group where tutors and former students perform. No prizes for guessing who signed up. And my friend little Miss Molly was performing in her first Fame concert. Last year her parents, my friends Tiania and Jamie, had tried ballet for Molly but found the dance mum culture just wrong for a three-year-old. Enter the friend with 14 years experience of a performance company that's not like that. So "surprise" Susan, your Fame days are not over yet. There are some who find my way of celebrating my birthday "surprising". My siblings are among them. I have mentioned before that my older sister Marie and brother Michael find my musical theatre obsession as simply weird. They had no problem pointing this out on my birthday. I would have expected nothing less. That's okay, a bit of gentle ribbing among family members is totally a thing in most families I imagine. They also found my second entertainment choice for the day surprising. April Fool's joke's on you two. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone live with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra was pretty awesome. Bach worked for Prince Leopold and Beethoven worked for Count Ferdinand von Waldstein . These days the best composers don't work for princes and counts. They work for movie studios and the very best is John Williams'. His music is sublime. We deserve to hear it not as second fiddle (pun intended) to the movie action but right out in front. Whoever decided to strip out the music and then create an experience with a live orchestra playing the score while the movie is screened was a genius. This was perfect. People dressed as Potter characters. People cheered but mostly they were just swept away by the beautiful music. And for a very large number in that Convention Centre hall it was their first orchestral experience (I know this because there was a show of hands at the start). I was transfixed. I am a self confessed Potter tragic but I found myself watching the orchestra as much as the film. There were six percussionists. I'm no expert but that seems a lot and they were working really hard. Glorious. And if you missed it there will be a second go at Harry Potter with the orchestra in October when the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second film gets the same treatment. That gives me a few months to convince my siblings. I think I might save my breath. Some people don't know what's good for them. But I do have a top secret surprise for you. Perhaps it was an April Fool's Day joke but when the orchestra had its first rehearsal of the day they screened Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. That is just wrong - not only because the Americans thought they needed to change the name but because someone thought Australian audiences wouldn't notice the difference.

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