Wednesday, April 04, 2007

There's One Thing You Ought to Know...

...John is the Maestro.*

Now that I'm working the same hours as the majority of society, I can do more society-approved recreation. Recreation when I worked at night consisted of Olympic napping, followed by a long shower, followed by a little snooze before I got dressed for work. Maybe some laundry thrown in.

But now? Well, a couple weeks ago I took John to the symphony.

I was kind of asking for trouble. On that Saturday, John had a speed-skating clinic, an end-of-season hockey party, and had a friend over in the afternoon complete with bonfire and s'mores. What better plan for an eight-year-old boy at the end of a day like that would it be than to take him out to dinner and DQ, put him in a dark auditorium and tell him to sit still for two hours, including a 25-minute free-form Hebraic solo cello interpretation of the story of Solomon.

John did fairly well, but Ernest Bloch's "Schelomo" was almost his undoing. We were in the fourth row and so had an excellent view of cellist Amit Peled -- every flop of artistic hair, every sensitive narrowing of the eye, even the murmuring to the concertmistress. When he began to play, I felt John tense beside me.

"Mom! MOM!" he whispered, breathing cough drop all over me, and I'm sure Mr. Peled could hear him, too (and maybe even smell the cough drops). "MOM! He looks just like how I imagine Sirius Black looks!"

Wonderful! Fortunately, that realization was enough to keep him quiet and relatively still through the whole piece, which I didn't hear at all because I was directing all my energy toward John to keep him still. He stretched and yawned every once in awhile, which was mildly annoying, but then during the first piece, the guy next to me was banging out time to the Verdi overture on his thigh, like Jack Aubrey in "Master and Commander," so I figured John was doing OK. He was certainly doing better than the woman behind me, who took her shoes off under my chair.

At the end of the piece, the crowd of course leaped to its feet and gave a thunderous ovation. John applauded rapturously and cried, "Can I yell 'bravo'?"

"If you think he deserved it," I said.

John considered this, then shook his head. "I don't think he did."

Well, everyone's a critic.

The finale was Beethoven's Fifth, which John has recently learned (Matt got me the Fourth and Fifth, as played by the Minnesota Orchestra, for Christmas, yay Matt!). They pulled it off, we dutifully gave them another ovation, and the evening was deemed a success.

Jesus Christ Superstar is coming in May. Ted Neely in his farewell tour. John and I just might have a date.

*Beastie Boys remix.

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