Monday, March 30, 2009

The In-Crowd.. for Now

The purpose of this convoluted rhyme
Is to highlight that instant in time
When staying in the moment
Helps to focus one’s intent
Allowing for an experience that’s sublime

During this past weekend, I got the chance to experience “in-person” some enjoyable performances and I wanted to take time to reflect on the value of participating “live”. On Friday night, Dianna & I went to see the touring Broadway production of “Wicked”, a clever musical backstory of the witches from Wizard of Oz re-imagined by Gregory Maguire. The cast was top notch but we both were perplexed by the general audience reaction which seemed much more interactive than most theater performances with clapping, cheering and whispering. In some ways it was as if the audience was an extension of the cast – almost like a viewing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Maybe we’ve gotten used to our Portland center Stage plays where we absorb the consistently high quality content quietly…

Saturday night started with a dinner outing with Ted & Rick at Clay’s Smokehouse and then arrival at the Rose Garden for a game between the Blazers and Memphis. Since the Philly loss that Sean & I attended the Blazers had comfortably beaten Phoenix and with just one game separating Portland Denver, and Utah, emotions were running high. The Blazers came out with energy and the crowd provided vocal and moral support that helped a double digit home court win. The concept of “home court advantage” applies to many endeavors beyond sports. The comfort level one has in familiar settings such as a beloved neighborhood or in a gathering of familiar friends is something we all crave. The noted philosopher D. Gale summed it up as “There’s no place like home”

Our evening ended in Southeast Portland at “The Goodfoot”, where Sean’s band “Reeble Jar” ( ) was headlining. We skewed to the older end of the crowd but it was interesting to note that it could have been the early 70’s with the dress and the vibe of Reeble Jar’s funk. The only tip-off was the ubiquitous cell phones waving as the Bic lighters of the 21st century. RJ’s music is hard to sit still for but it was fun to watch how the show was enhanced by the crowd reaction. The band is preparing for a month long tour across the Western US in June and that should be an invigorating month. They hope to return to Eugene and use some studio time to produce their first non-audience album which will be a big departure. Should be fun to watch & hear develop.

The end of the weekend brought the dramatics of Tiger Woods winning after a 284 day drought, using a script that we’ve seen before. With daylight fading and wind swirling, and a motionless gallery watching, along with the biggest TV audience since 9 months ago when he was in the identical situation, Tiger calmed sank a 16 foot putt to win Arnold Palmer’s tournament. Once again he showed not only how to be in the moment, but to seize it and define it…. Great theater that isn’t the same if you watch a replay…

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