Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kissing Cousins: Boston Landmarks Orchestra & Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Present a Sumptuous "Kiss Me Kate"

I joined a large and enthusiastic crowd last evening upon the Esplanade to enjoy the sumptuous concert version of Cole Porter's classic "Kiss Me Kate," a musical send-up of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew."  The purpose of this little Blog piece is not to write a review.  Simply put, the show was wonderful - a great cast anchored by Broadway's Kerry O'Malley and Marc Kudisch, a perfect evening in an idyllic setting backed by a world class symphony orchestra, the Boston Landmark Orchestra.

The purpose of this missive is simply to say "thank you,"  and to blow kisses in the direction of two wonderful  cultural institutions that help to make Boston such a rich haven for the arts.  Boston Landmark Orchestra under the direction of Musical Director Christopher Wilkins collaborated on this project with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, led by Artistic Director Steven Maler.  With the backing of generous corporate, foundation and media support, these two organizations were able to offer this show to our community as a free event.  As a lover of great music and great theater, I am thrilled to be part of a community that values the arts in a way that makes it possible to spend the kind of evening that thousands of us experienced together last night along the Right Bank of the River Charles.

For a more comprehensive understanding of the mission and range of activities of these two outstanding institutions, I encourage you to dive into their respective web pages linked below.  While you are at it, make a donation to ensure that this kind of quality of life in our town is preserved.

To steal a word from one of last night's show tunes, Boston Landmark Orchestra and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company serve as catalysts to help to make life in Boston "Wunderbar"!

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

Boston Landmarks Orchestra

It just occurred to me that I should share an anecdote of something "wunderbar" I observed last evening as the concert was starting and the orchestra was playing the Overture.  I was sitting near the VIP section where there were reserved seats set aside for Board Members, Donors, the Press, etc.  Just in front of this roped-off section, individuals and families had laid out blankets.  A family sitting just in front of us appeared to be recently arrived immigrants, possible from the Middle East based on their appearance.  A young daughter was struggling to be able to see over the heads of those sitting in chairs in front of her.  A couple in the VIP section had an empty chair next to them.  They appeared to be, if not strictly "Boston Brahmins," at least members of the 1%.  They quietly and unobtrusively invited the little girl to sit in the empty chair.  Hesitant at first to intrude, she finally accepted the invitation.  Her smiles as she enjoyed the show were incandescent.  The moral of this story? The arts can be a great leveler, and the glue that binds together parts of our community that might not otherwise interact in meaningful and positive ways.



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