Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Strathmore Arts

On Friday, my mom, sis-in-law, Lil & I checked out Strathmore Hall for the first time to see Kristin Chenoweth.

Little ironic - I went to the Academy of the Holy Cross and walked to the Metro all the time. The theatre wasn't there yet, but they did have programs there. So I'd always wanted to support the programs.

What a lovely venue. There is hardly any carpet to be found in the hall and one could feel some starkness in the openness. The light wood - pine? - allows the performer to design their own experience. Ms. Chenoweth was wearing a navy/violet gown and the lighting designers created gorgeous effects. I believe the young men in the accompanying choir at the end were wearing pale purple ties. I was surprised to see that against such a pale interior. The pale wood seemed to create a palate that individual performers can design for their individual performance.

So let's get to Ms. Chenoweth. I fell in love with her artistry from an NPR article in 1998, when they spotlighted her work as Sally in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. I could hear the quirkiness in her voice and admired her spirit.

Friday night, I was reaffirmed in that opinion. She sang "Moon River" to us - my wedding song. Luke & I are "two drifters off to see the world" and we love Breakfast at Tiffany's. I really regretted not bringing Luke to this performance.

She talked about her belief in the arts making a difference. That music is necessary to express our humanity. In an unexpected turn, she and her conductor performed The Heart of the Matter -which I always subtitle "Forgiveness." Given the recent death of Glenn Frey, (I know, this is Don Henley), I heard this song differently than before.

Ms. Chenoweth made me happy & sad. She made me feel and think. I loved her range and her depth.

But I loved her message. Whatever you do, find your truth. Find your purpose. LIVE that. It is different for everyone. But DO that. When she said it, I was thinking about Lil dancing and her belief in her inspiration. But then I thought, Wait, K - you're doing that too.

Thank you Kristin for bringing your beautiful voice, your silliness and your honesty to Strathmore. I hope to see you again!

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