Lizard, show tunes and a crisis averted

posted by Jeff | Monday, July 14, 2008, 12:16 AM | comments: 2

Given Diana's union card carrying professional status as a theatre dork, she wanted to see the Cleveland Orchestra's show tunes concert this year. One of our early dates, with much groping, was to see them last year do Lord of The Rings stuff ("There's only one fucking trilogy"), so there was some sentimental thing going on there.

First we went to the Winking Lizard in Peninsula, which we never really go to now that there's one in Brunstucky. There is pretty much always a wait, which is odd given its location, but one can't underestimate the draw of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park area. I'm disappointed that they don't have a RollerCoaster Tycoon pinball machine anymore. And I'm annoyed that Gonch won't sell me his either.

Between the Lizard and Blossom, we realized we never chucked any lawn chairs into the car. Oops. Diana seemed to take it particularly hard, and given the moistness of the day, it was sure to be wet. And it was. Fortunately they had chairs for rent for five bucks. Silly expense, perhaps, but who cares.

Seeing the orchestra at Blossom is probably one of the better deals around Cleveland in terms of summer entertainment. The parking is free, it's in the middle of nowhere, and lawn tickets are generally about twenty bucks. Plus you can bring in your own shit and booze it up, and man do the old people booze it up! It's a neat venue too when you think about all of the acts that have performed on that stage. I saw my first concert on my first date there (Def Leppard, 1988, Hysteria tour), and have since seen Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Aerosmith, Jewel, Toad The Wet Sprocket and many, many more there. Lots of good memories.

I only knew about half the music they did. It's always interesting when a full orchestra performs stage stuff, because some of it is helped by having more musicians, compared to the typical show where they stuff a little orchestra (or 70's rock band, in the case of J.C. Superstar) under the stage. On the other hand, the popular elements are often omitted or replaced, like the heavy percussion in Lion King's "Circle of Life" or the guitar parts in Superstar.

And seeing as how they're Broadway shows, they need vocalists. Some of the arrangements seemed a little forced to include all four of them, and others made me chuckle ("Total Eclipse of The Heart," which was made for some vampire show that apparently flopped), but I thought they were pretty strong. It was good to hear someone who could do "Music of The Night" from Phantom and not suck. The guy we saw in Vegas was the understudy, and not that great. We were talking about that on the way home, how the original London cast is probably the least good of the popular recordings and shows. One of Diana's friends from college is doing Christine at the Broadway show, so one of these days we'll have to check that out.

The show didn't go very late, and so it never actually got dark, which is a bummer. Blossom is so far out there that you can actually see stars the way you do when you get far out of the city. And of course, we raced out of there to avoid getting into heavy traffic with old people. Blue hairs on dark roads == never get home.

Good times. So glad to get out of the house.


Jeff, July 14, 2008, 4:40 PM #

Please. Pick one. The guy I saw in '06 at the Vegas show buried him, no contest.

JRY13SP, July 14, 2008, 12:22 PM #

I will agree that Sarah Brightman is not the right person for the role of Christine in the London cast, but I don't know if anyone does the Phantom as well as Michael Crawford.

Post your comment: