Nicky and I had a wild March planned, live music/theater/comedy-wise that was curtailed a bit.
We started it all on March 1 with Tony Award-winning "Spring Awakening", the smash Broadway hit. From Wikipedia: "Set in late-nineteenth century Germany, it concerns teenagers who are discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality. The original play was banned in Germany due to its portrayal of masturbation, abortion, rape and suicide. In the musical, alt-rock is employed as part of the folk-infused rock score."
We thought the cast were particularly good, energetic. The music was wonderful regardless of a lack of identifiable tunes...you just went with it and it moved the story along. We enjoyed it very much. Saw it at the Wharton Center on MSU's campus.
Next up was our first live viewing of Robin Williams in concert. Well, he had his heart attack 3 days before our show and cancelled. We wish him a speedy recovery (his
website says the surgery went very well and he is expected to be fully recovered in 8 weeks). So, more to come if and when he returns to East Lansing.
Moving along to March 22 we saw the iconic, Jorma Kaukonen at the Ark in Ann Arbor for a sold-out, SRO show.
He has been touring with enormously-talented friend, Barry Mitterhof, the multi-instrumentalist whose proficiency with stringed instruments (especially the mandolin) was well received that night. The two of them play like old pals, checking each other out every now and then...small smiles on their faces. I will say this, Mr. Kaukonen is a man of few words. It was a terribly intimate show. They spoke infrequently and quietly. All the more time for playing. I couldn't even tell you all the songs they did but it was a technically brilliant night on the instruments and a soft, amusing experience when they shared stories. Hooray for Jorma!
The 31st saw the return of the Lion King to the Wharton Center. Admittedly it is the 3rd time Nicky and I have seen it (once in Toronto and once here at Wharton). The opening sequence of animal kingdom entry is still the most wonderful theatrical experience. This time we were watching the faces of the children around us. It was beautiful. They were jumping up and down...happily chattering away with their friends, thoroughly enjoying the moment. For me, virtually all the rest was a bit TOO familiar. Sorry, it just doesn't do much more...it is an exact replica of the movie, so, again, no surprises. All the actors were good and the human child Simba was very good.
Our All Saints Coffeehouse on the 20th was a low key affair. We somewhat had an Irish theme. One of the suggestions I received in February was to do Three Dog Night's version of, "Shambala". Well that just brought a wave of nostalgia for me and after viewing several old Three Dog Night videos on YouTube I put together 5 songs. It was a blast. (Thanks Marty Liphard....the tambourine lady!)
That was March. Of course there is more to come in April where I'll review Lansing Symphony's combined concert with the MSU Chorale and Women's Chorus, Bruce Cockburn at the Ark, Steppin In It and Shout Sister Shout at WKAR's Backstage Pass series (a LIVE TV audience...very cool, our own, "Soundstage"!), my own concert with the MSU Choral Union at the Wharton Center on April 25 and Jesus Christ Superstar at the Rosemont Theatre near Chicago on the 30th. Thanks for joining.