Saturday, August 06, 2016

Music at Lakeside in Week 7 of season 2016

The evening programs this week at Lakeside Chautauqua have been quite spectacular. Our “week” begins on Saturday, so the Saturday night program is usually the big showcase, and she certainly didn’t disappoint. It was Megan Hilty, a TV and Broadway star with whom I’m not familiar, but she is a niece of long time Lakesiders Tom (deceased) and Jan Hilty. She performed as Glinda in Wicked, and has made guest appearances in Bones, The Closer, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives.  She appeared for 2 years in the TV show Smash, and although I didn’t see it, apparently many others did, because the front row seats were filled with fans. Smash is a fictional account of two women who want the part of Marilyn Monroe in a musical stage play. She played Ivy in the show and at Lakeside sang a number of songs from Smash.

I don’t always go down to the park on Sunday evening (usually local performers), but the July 31 program was a group called the Ottawa County Blue Grass Band, and they were wonderful. Even though the park benches can get hard, they were worth the sit. A father and his two sons, plus a friend from Fremont. The weather was glorious and we could see the sailboats on Lake Erie as we sat under the trees. Many people having picnics on the lawn, or sitting in their golf carts on the street watching. This video is from the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont.

On Wednesday we enjoyed the opening night of our summer symphony with a program of “light classics,” followed by a reception. This is music director Robert Cronquist’s 46th season, and the 53th season of the symphony.

Thursday’s program was really different--not exactly a monologue, not exactly a solo music performance. It was called Six Guitars and the artist Chase Padgett performed as 6 different characters playing 6 styles of music--an 87 year old blues player married six times, a Spanish classical guitarist, R & B, folk, rock and country. He was spectacular in each style as he told their stories, and in the end, each character confesses how he enjoys other styles. We also learned a lot about each genre.

My husband was so excited about this show. He's taking guitar lessons from Dr. Richard Smoot in Columbus and drives there once a week. Wednesday evening he carried some sheet music with us to the opening of the symphony because he needed an explanation about notation. The first 2 musicians--an excellent pianist and a public school music teacher--he asked didn't know, then he found a violinist who could answer his question He is really committed.

I learn so much at Lakeside. While waiting for the 6 Guitars program to start, the woman next to me told me about her battle with sun poisoning, which is different than sun burn. Then she pulled out of her purse flesh colored "sleeves" that she can pull on if she's wearing a short sleeve shirt; kind of looked like hose without feet. Sun protective clothing is quite expensive she told me, so she searched the internet and found these sleeves which are for tattooed people who are not suppose to show their tats at work--much cheaper. Next she's going to work on using knee-highs cutting off the feet. But some tattoo sleeve covers are really fake tattoo designs--looks like you have them instead of covering them.

On Friday evening we were just blown away by “The Sons of Serendip.” If they ever come to a venue within 50 miles of you, get there and take some friends. They are 4 men who were friends in college, all have advanced degrees (3 in music performance) and “day jobs,” but won 2 years ago in NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Micah Christian, the lead vocalist (only vocalist as near as I could tell) has a voice you just won’t believe. I think his is what the angels in heaven must sound like. He has an M. Div. and has been a missionary in South America. He works as a teacher. The other three are a cellist, a harpist and pianist. It’s a combination you don’t see everywhere, and as Micah Christian noted, “How often do you see a 6’4” black man playing the harp?” I think they may write a lot of their material, and at least two write for screen plays.

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