My mom’s birthday was last week and my sister sent her two tickets for a concert at the Disney Concert Hall (plus wine reception). Luckily for me my dad doesn’t drink wine and doesn’t listen to concert music. During the time I took piano, when I was young, he was known to duck out after my performance and walk home vs. having to sit through the rest of the recital. That left a ticket for me!
Now to be honest I’m not big on fancy concert music either but was sold on the idea of a wine reception. Plus I’d never been in the Disney Concert Hall theatre before and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to check it out. (I am intimately familiar with the buliding’s parking lot and cafeteria as that is the lot you park in for jury duty in downtown LA and the cafeteria serves wine — I was part of a jury for a case that lasted a month. Parking and drinking were both necessary.)
My poor mom hit heavy traffic coming into the city so we had a little less than 1/2 an hour of drinking time. No worries, I was able to toss back a couple of glasses with the speed of a thirsty camel. We also did some great people watching and took notice of who was and wasn’t holding their wine glass correctly (https://wendyandriggins.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/mind-your-manners/ — Now I realize in the picture below I am not holding that darn glass correctly. In my defense seconds earlier I was balancing our tickets in that hand, along with the wine plus trying to coordinate taking a picture with my iPhone so my goal was to stabilize everything as much as possible. Do you buy that?)
The theatre itself is super fancy. My mom and I immediately felt like we were becoming more cultured just by sitting there. I managed to pay attention through the first half of the first half and then my mind started to drift. I needed some dancers or something to keep me engaged. Instead I became obsessed with the giant organ at the back of the theatre. At least I assume it was an organ. My mom and I agree it was so that’s good enough for me. The theatre is sort of “in the round.” Meaning audience can sit on all four sides of the stage. For this performance the seats on the back side of the theatre were blocked off along with those on the extreme sides. The beautiful organ was sitting at the back of this wasteland staring at me. I needed someone to play it. It took all my will not to find a way down there to press on those keys. That didn’t stop me from figuring out a plan.
I could go down to the second floor (were the stage is -we were sitting in the mezzanine on the fourth floor) then scurry down the aisle, jump up on the stage (I figured it was about the same height as pushing yourself out of a swimming pool and I can manage that.) then army crawling up stage left (that meant the musicians would have to struggle around their instruments to get to me if they were so inclined), then scurry up the steps by the invisible back wall audience, run to the organ, leap over the leapable railing holding the organ back from the public, and start playing!
I could make my way down to the third floor and enter the theatre from the side where only 1/2 the seats were full, make my way casually up stage to the empty seats, jump over the railing onto the stairs for the back wall invisible audience, scurry up just a few steps, run to the organ, jump over the railing and start playing!
Both options seemed totally doable if I chose to throw away all the culture I’d soaked up and become a crinimal organ player!
In between my scheming I did enjoy more music and had lots of time to try to figure out how it was that only the pianist had to turn music pages while those string instrument fellas and gals managed to play a 2 hour concert with no page turning. Magic. Obviously.
Happy birthday Mom!