Monday, September 22, 2014

Movie-ish Monday - with Special Guest Shirley Jones

Sorry. No. Shirley Jones isn't going to be writing this blog post. And she's not actually here at the moment. But I did see her last weekend. Oh... But not in a movie. Live. On stage. Which means, of course, that the title of this post is way off. Perhaps I should back up a bit...

I have a friend who goes to concerts with her dad. They apparently go to a bunch of rock concerts - or things of that type - where there is the definite chance that the band won't be doing another tour again. Ever. Due to age-related mortality.

I know. Morbid. But kind of creative and funny, too. And it's a good way to kind of force yourself to go out and see shows that you might never see, if you really think about it.

So, a month or so ago I heard an ad on the radio for "The Music Man in Concert, starring Shirley Jones and Patrick Cassidy." And I fully admit that I almost immediately thought "I wonder if she'd like to go to that."

She did. So we did. We even got "box seats" for us - and her new boyfriend - right in the middle of the theater. (Christopher didn't think it sounded so interesting, so we left him at home.)

I wasn't really sure what to expect of the show. Or, rather, I do know what I expected. I expected her to kind of stand on stage and tell stories about filming the movie and the two of them to do a few songs and maybe a dance or two.

She looked like this in the show. She wasn't wearing the wig and hat from the website photos. But, then, the show is scaled down from what you see on the website, too. 

What we got was... well... a little of that. What we mainly got during the first act was kind of a strange semi-pro staged concert of "The Music Man" with black and white images from the movie projected on a screen (not sure why they were in black and white, since the movie was in color). They did about 80% of the songs, with Shirley Jones playing Mrs. Paroo, Patrick Cassidy playing Harold Hill, and about 10 other people playing all the other roles, along with a small orchestra, and about 10 people at the back of the stage singing the chorus parts.

At the start of intermission, I turned to my friend and said - with absolutely no malice - "It's incredibly mediocre. It's wonderful!"

The second act was much more interesting - for me, at least. There was more of Shirley Jones talking about the show. There was more interaction between Shirley and Patrick. There was a local high school band at the appropriate climactic moment. And, at the end, there was a short Q&A, where we got to see how much people really love them and... ya know... get reminded of why we were there.

It really was wonderful. Shirley looks wonderful. She and Patrick shipoopied well together. She was funny and I would have happily sat and listened to her tell stories for another hour.

Was it the best show I've ever seen? No. Would I go to it again? Definitely.

(Check the website link to see where they'll be performing in the near future. Seriously. Do it. It's totally worth it.)

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