Monday, August 11, 2014

Music Week

It's music and art camp week, so I'm out in the mornings Monday through Thursday. I have kindergarten this year, so I'm getting a sneak preview of the kids I may have in choir this year. I already knew most of the kids in the group, and then I also have my ballet teacher's son, which makes me feel old because she was pregnant with him when I first started taking ballet classes. I really could use a nap, but I have a busy day ahead of me, with a lot of business stuff to deal with, a book to finish revising, and then a choir rehearsal tonight. And then I'm singing a duet Sunday morning, so I have music to learn and practice. I actually know the song and have sung it before in the choral version (we're doing the soprano/alto version that was probably written for a boys choir, which is just about identical in the soprano line), and that may actually be the problem. It's an earworm of a piece, and even though it's been years since I last sang it, it pops into my head from time to time, but over the years of not having heard it or seen the music, the version that pops into my head and that I find myself singing around the house has mutated. Now I find myself having to re-learn the real music and force the mutation out of my head.

My Friday-night birthday surprise turned out to be seeing the Dallas Theater Center's production of Les Miserables, which is apparently making news around the world because it's the first non-traditional staging of the musical. They haven't changed the text at all, but instead of it being set in the actual historical period, they've put it in a very near-future dystopia. So the clothes are mostly modern. The soldiers are wearing police riot gear. The student revolutionaries are hanging out in a coffee shop, with paper cups with those cardboard sleeves and plastic lids, and there's a laptop on the table. It actually works pretty well. It's also a very intimate staging, in a fairly small space with a thrust stage, so the stage is mostly surrounded by audience. We were on the second row, and it was amazing to see this show in a setting where you're making eye contact with the actors. They even interact with the audience. The revolutionaries go into the audience to pass out leaflets during the "Do You Hear the People Sing?" number, and some of the people on the front row got propositioned during the "Lovely Ladies" number (and in this version, not all the "lovely ladies" were actually female). It definitely worked to make me notice the show in a new way even though I have it memorized. It's a good thing I was dragged out of the house to go because it would have been a shame for someone who's as big a fan of the show as I am to not have seen this one rather avant garde production of it.

Now off to take care of a bunch of stuff.

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