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Author Topic: Alex Cruise - Part 4 – The show begins  (Read 2581 times)
Ohhh.. I'm so hot, Brrr
Posts: 136

Tack för en underbar kväll, Alex.

« on: September 03, 2012, 10:20:36 PM »

Since Monday was a day at sea there was no need to rush and I chose to sleep in, finally going to breakfast around 9:00.  The first thing on the agenda was a 10:00 presentation by NCL about their various shore excursions.  I had already booked mine except for Cannes but was curious what they might talk about.  It turned out to be mostly a rehash of the information from the website but was interesting nonetheless.  Several weeks ago I had joined a forum for cruisers ( which was chock full of useful information.  There was a planned Meet & Greet of some forum members at 11:30 at O'Sheehans pub.  Or at least I thought there was.  After waiting there for a while with Dwight, who had also joined, we double-checked the forum post and found out that the meeting was both at a different time and a different location.  Oh well, chalk it up to a senior moment.

The first musical event on Peter's schedule was a 2:00 concert by the Festival Brass.  Since it was only 12, I decided to go up on deck to work on my day 3 travelog and get some pictures as we passed between the islands of Corsica and Sardinia.  I had found a great kids-free area on deck 16 with lots of shade, sheltered from the wind, and a perfect compromise between the hot sun and the sometimes frigid air conditioning.  I only got about half done when it was time to head for the show but at least I was staying reasonably current.

Unlike most of Peter's shows, this one was open to the public.  The relatively small stage was filled with two curved rows of 12 seats each for the brass instruments with a few additional in the back for drums and percussion.  The instruments ranged from the small cornet to the huge tuba, with virtually everything in between represented at least once.  I wasn't sure what to expect but snagged a front row seat anyway.  I don't have a set list but it was a very interesting mix of marches, ballads, with a little Bach thrown in for good measure.  They were extremely talented and quite a few of them got a chance to solo.  It was all instrumental except for two songs.  Peter sang one, “Remember Me”, which would have been an excellent song for Alex as well.  Later, one of the members of the Ulster Operatic Company gave us a sneak preview of their talent as she sang a wonderful solo.  Like most good shows time flew by and the short 1 hour show was over much too quickly.

Since we had both skipped lunch, Dwight and I planned on meeting for an early dinner before the evening show at 6:00 which was a Peter Corry solo show with Alex as guest artist.  Since I had a little time to kill I went back to my favorite spot on deck and finished off my day 3 travelog.  It was becoming difficult to stay caught up since I was putting lots of detail in each one, both to describe the journey for the reader's benefit as well as to help me remember everything.  I stopped at my cabin on the way to freshen up and change for the show.

After dinner I made a beeline for the Bliss Lounge to grab a good seat while Dwight went back to his cabin to change and get his gifts for Alex.  I was the first one to arrive, since it was only 5:15, and had a lovely chat with Chris's travel agency coworker, Kelly.  She told me that they were having equipment issues and were not letting anyone in until approximately 5:45.  I stayed in my first-in-line place as others from our group began to arrive.  While we were waiting, Alex arrived in a lovely white gown and waved to us as she passed.  As time went on the line grew, along with the delay, and it wasn't until 6:15 that we were allowed in.  I really didn't care since I had nowhere else to go.  We grabbed two seats at the table right in front of the stage and waited patiently as they continued to work out minor sound problems.

Finally, a little after 6:30 the small backing band entered and took their places on stage.  There were two keyboardists, one violinist, and one multi-talented person who at various times played percussion, guitar, bagpipes and bohdran.  Peter then walked on stage, grabbed his microphone and started the show.  Unlike Showstoppers last year, this was mostly ballads rather than show tunes, with a few traditional Irish songs thrown in.  About halfway through he introduced Alex as his special guest.  She came on stage looking absolutely radiant in her white gown.  As the first few notes drifted my way from the keyboard I immediately recognized “The Blessing”.  This was a much more intimate version than CW's and quickly and easily got the tears flowing.  This was Alex at her best, at least from my point of view.  One other thing that was different about this show versus any other time I've seen Alex perform was that pictures were allowed.  I did grab a few early in the song but I didn't want to watch Alex on the back of the camera, especially since she was less than 15 feet away.  The ones that I did get, though, are spectacular.  After that she sang a duet with Peter, Sun and Moon from Miss Saigon which they had also performed together in Helsingborg last year.  After that Alex left because she had reservations for one of the other shows on the cruise.  Peter continued with several spectacular power ballads, one of which featured the excellent violinist, Una Connolly.  He closed with a medley of songs by the legendary Al Jolson.  Following pleas for an encore, Brendan came the front with his bodhran and he and Peter goofed around with some Irish drinking songs to riotous laughter, both on stage and off.

Once again it was over too soon.  Since it was only 7:30 and still daylight Dwight and I went up to my favorite spot on deck to compare notes.  I uploaded my pictures and was very, very happy with what I got.  Since it was almost sunset I took the opportunity to get some nice sunset shots with the ship's wake in the foreground.  Then I started typing this and managed to finish it while it was still day 4.  With the upcoming shore excursions and Peter's evening shows it felt good to not be in catchup mode anymore.  Day 5 will be the first port of call, Naples, and will be filled with a climb up Mt. Vesuvius, a tour of Pompeii and a concert by the Ulster Operatic Company.  Long day ahead, time to rest....

The beautiful blue Mediterranean.

The Festival Brass's banner.

Peter Corry (left), his brother Allen (right) and the Festival Brass band.

The very last glimpse of sunset from the aft deck.


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