Sunday, March 16, 2008

Traversing the Cultural Diameter

Less than 24 hours after enjoying a rare night out with a bunch of guys, I found myself herding women. My wife, mother-in-law, daughter and two of her friends sat on the same row with me for the Shreveport Symphony's presentation of "Broadway Today." Yes, I went from Friday's blue jeans and beer crowd laughing hysterically at scatological humor to the Saturday blue blood set getting goosebumps from show tunes.
You may question my manhood for attending such an event, but I will tell you I went enthusiatically. The wife and I go to this show every year and it never disappoints. The headliner is Craig Schulman. If you want to talk about manhood, this guy has it. He is the only person to perform on Broadway in the lead roles of Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Jekyll & Hyde. Dude has talent...buckets of talent. He always brings beautiful women to perform with him, and this year was no exception. My 16-year-old said to me during one episode of thunderous applause that Collen Hawks took her breath away singing "Defying Gravity" from "Wicked." When Tamra Hayden emotionally offered "On my Own" from Les Mis, patrons young and old were crying. When Schulman hit us with "Bring Him Home" and "Music of the Night," the crowd was simply awed. The 16 and 17-year-old girls hung around Riverview Theater to buy CD's and get autographs, and that tells me they know the've seen something special.
The Shreveport Symphony is celebrating its 60th season, but it remains one of the most underappreciated enterprises in the area. Talk about big-time, Shreveport had it again Saturday night. Those of us fortunate enough to be there know what we heard. We had the goosebumps to prove it.

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2 comments:

Kathryn Usher said...

You are so metrosexual! And that is hot! Hey what do you think about if the SSO added a fan section to their website like the mudbugs have? Folks could post pictures and comments about the fun they had at the concert.

Chuckles said...

From where I sit, the local arts scene does indeed have a lot to offer. But the biggest problem is too few really know about it. Let's face it, back when I worked in local TV, we did a lot of community service by way of producing special vignettes on theater groups, opera performances, etc...and not just in S'port either. But the days of expecting your local TeeVee folk to pony up airtime for PSA's or even do a short cultural piece on the evening news are over...too many crime stories to run or let's show a package about an obscure freakish accident that took place overnight in Poughkeepsie....much easier to take the feeds off "da Bird" than to hustle out and do a "community interest story".

And the folks who market the local arts resources...geez...they need to be biatch-slapped with a mouse-cord..seriously. They keep promoting in the same way, and same fashion...get a box ad in the Preview (readership dropping) ...get a box ad in the cheaper weeklies (too narrow readership). Or get mentions on PBS radio (good but not really going after potential "newer audiences" folks)...get a "clip-art billboard" (one or two in obscure rotation) that's about as engaging as a coldsore on prom night...Geez! Wake up people: the definition of insanity is to do the same thing...the same way..AND..anticipate a different result each time.

Sorry ya'll...but poor attendance or failing attendance and support for the arts is a double-edged sword. Sure, people should seek it out...but in this day and age of attention deficit span: the "build it and they will come" days are gone...you hafta be really focused and engaged and step out of the norm to get eyeballs and attention...otherwise...keep doing it the same ol' way...and you're doomed!

>> ...we now return to our program already in progress...<<