Monday, November 3, 2014

Artsy Weekend

I had a busy weekend! Not writing, but relaxing.

I attended two shows: The Fleetwood Mac concert at Verizon Center on Friday and the musical play Little Dancer at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on Saturday.

Fleetwood Mac

This is their first tour since Christine McVie rejoined the band, so I wanted to see them. They have a few years on them, so you never know if you'll get another chance. I snapped a few pictures with my old camera phone, but they don't show much.

Image of Stevie Nicks doing Landslide - Verizon Center - 2014 10 31
Stevie Nicks

Image of Lindsey Buckingham at Verizon Center - 10/31/2014
Lindsey Buckingham

Image Fleetwood Mac concert at closing - Verizon Center - 10/31/2014
At closing - Christine McVie sitting at keyboard on left

I have to say, they sounded better than the last time I saw them. That's been a while, and Christine McVie was not with them for that concert. And Christine sounded stronger than when I heard her before and I can't even remember how long ago that was. Not bad for someone in their seventies. Perhaps the hiatus was good for her.

When they first started, the sound was a little muddied—something I've noticed during other concerts at the Verizon Center. The sound seemed to be better during the last half of the concert as if the sound crew did a little tuning as things progressed. Still, the Verizon Center is not the best place to listen to music. (Works great for hockey games...)

The songs selected were all of the Fleetwood Mac standards—The Chain, Dreams, Go your Own Way, Landslide, etc., so there were no surprises. It was a good show, however, and especially so for the older Fleetwood Mac fans. Despite a lot of younger attendees, there was a definite "graying" of the crowd to which I must admit my own contribution.

The hall appeared to be sold out, or nearly so. Since they've already made plans to return here in a few months for another show, the DC area must be a successful venue for them. And I'm betting they'll sell out again.

Little Dancer

I saw this play at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. If you've never been to the Kennedy Center, there is a lot of white marble and gold paint. Some parts look like the world's biggest mausoleum.

Kennedy Center seen from the Potomac River, June 2010
By Tom (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0
via Wikimedia Commons
The play is about the dancer that became the model for Edgar Degas' sculpture La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans (Little Dancer Aged Fourteen).  From the web site:

Part fact, part fiction, and set in the harsh backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet, this world premiere Kennedy Center musical is inspired by the story of Marie van Goethem, a young ballerina who posed for Edgar Degas and became, inadvertently, the most famous dancer in the world. Torn by her family's poverty, her debt to the artist, and the lure of wealthy men, she struggles to keep her place in the corps de ballet--a girl on the verge of womanhood, caught between the conflicting demands of life and art.

Dancer sculpture by Degas at the Met
Edgar Degas [Public domain or CC-BY-2.0
via Wikimedia Commons

I had mixed feelings about the play. The actors, singers, and dancer did a great job, but many of the songs, while very nice, are not memorable. You probably won't be humming them a few days later was you might after seeing other musicals. The story makes the play worth seeing, but probably only once. If you like dance, it will satisfy you. There is a long dance number in the second act that would tax a marathon runner, yet the dancers in this group did it without appearing the slightest bit out of breath. The small orchestra gave a wonderful performance.

The play is tied to an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art where the original wax sculpture and other works of Degas will be displayed through January 11, 2015.

As a disclaimer, I wish to say that I am not a person who attends many plays or knows a lot about them. These are only my uneducated opinions.

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feels free to post a comment!
Note: All comments will be moderated and will not be shown unless approved. Inappropriate comments will be removed.