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Author Topic: Lucky Friday the 13th  (Read 2454 times)
MrPeabody
Ohhh.. I'm so hot, Brrr
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Posts: 136


Tack för en underbar kväll, Alex.


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« on: January 12, 2014, 10:45:29 AM »

Sorry this is so late but, hey, better late than never, right?

I had a leisurely day planned for Friday: buy tickets for Lisa's concert at 9am, a haircut appointment at 10:15, and packing for Dallas, with a planned departure to Annapolis around noon. An email from the office around 8:30 threatened to derail that plan but in the end the only thing that changed was my leaving home around 1pm. Since it's only a little over 90 minutes to Annapolis and I wasn't planning to meet Mark until 5 I still had plenty of time. On my agenda was a stop at the Godiva Chocolate store in the Westgate Mall. I needed some more of those Double-Stuf Oreo Peppermint Pops and I really didn't want to fly back to Vegas to get them. They're not on the Godiva website so it was a gamble but I was going to Annapolis anyway so I figured I'd take a shot. Despite the horrific traffic I arrived at the mall around 2:45 and located my quarry. I sent a teaser to Mark on Facebook and walked around a bit. When I returned to the store who should I see standing there but Mark! Between us we cleaned out their inventory of Pops and I purchased a couple of chocolate assortments for Alex and Jenny, to be delivered after the show. After a short stop at a local florist, Mark and I had dinner at an Irish pub near the venue where we counted down the minutes until show time.

We arrived at the venue about an hour ahead of time and were treated to several Christmas carols as the choir put the finishing touches on their performance. The Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is a former high school and as we waited in the main corridor I noticed a sign that read “Peabody Preparatory.” What an interesting coincidence and after a few pictures I took a syllabus as a souvenir. Peabody Prep has a nice ring to it, don't you think? There were also a few show posters on some of the bulletin boards, so I made a mental note to collect one of those after the show. When Mark had purchased the tickets originally there had been a mixup and as compensation the venue had given him front row tickets, almost dead center. In fact, we ended up just right of center and directly in front of Alex; best seats in the house, hands down.

The show was being held in what was the old school auditorium and, as such, it was not very big and not very fancy. The main part of the stage was occupied by the orchestra with a section in the back that would be home to the large 100+ voice choir. At the front of the stage there was an open area on the left for Jenny and a microphone stand for Alex on the right. Due to the last minute rehearsals by the choir the show started a little late but that didn't matter to us. The conductor was J. Ernest Green and he was very talkative throughout the program. He started off the show with several orchestral numbers featuring the choir, including one which was an audience sing-a-long complete with lyrics projected on a screen to eliminate any “I don't know the words” excuses. Who remembers Sing Along with Mitch? Then the Annapolis Youth Chorus came out, lined up on the stairs leading to the stage and sang three lovely almost a capella songs which were quite beautifully done.

Finally it was time and Mr. Green introduced Jenny. She was wearing a lovely full-length red gown and played one song with the orchestra and chorus. Then he introduced Alex who was an absolute vision in a stunning white gown with a large fur collar. There was an overlay that extended from her left shoulder diagonally all the way to her right foot which had sparkling silver designs on it. Their first song was O Emmanuel with almost no lyrics, just Alex vocalizing. Oh, how I have missed that glorious voice. And those amazing eyes. *Sigh* During the applause she saw Mark and me and gave us each a wave and smile from the stage. Next was Slient Night in Irish, in the same arrangement as the CD and videos. Alex then did a reading of the full version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, accompanied by the orchestra and chorus. Ah, Alex the actress; she was having so much fun with this as she swayed along to the music between verses. Unfortunately our view was partially blocked by the music stand she was using to hold her “cheat sheets” but she peeked over it at us once in a while. 'Twas amazing! The pianist then had a chance to shine as he did a wonderful solo performance of his own arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. The orchestra finished up the first act with the classic Sleigh Bells to the delight of everyone in the house.

The second act started with an orchestral medley of popular carols followed by a few lesser known ones. Alex then returned to the stage, this time in a fire-engine red (or Christmas red, if you prefer) strapless gown that, if possible, was even more beautiful than the first one. Be still my beating heart. First Alex and Jenny did their arrangement of the Wexford Carol. The conductor then told us that he had allowed Alex to choose any song that she wanted to sing and she selected My Grownup Christmas List which she sang with such emotion that you couldn't help but want to grant her anything she wished for. This was followed by Amy Grant's Breath of Heaven and again I was mesmerized by her ability to become part of the song and draw you right in there with her. There was one song I really hoped Alex would sing and my own Christmas wish came true when Mr. Green introduced O Holy Night. Wow! Simply, wow! There are no other words to describe Alex's performance. Breaking my own “no standing ovations during a Christmas show” rule, I just had to stand for this one. Just had to.

Alex's final on-stage appearance was to read a Christmas verse that has been a tradition at this show since 1989. With no orchestra and no chorus, you could have heard a pin drop as Alex slowly and softly read You Can Keep Christmas by Henry Van Dyke. I have always loved Alex's speaking voice, the way she gently slides from one syllable to the next and that delightful Irish lilt, but it's the way her eyes twinkle and the way her whole face smiles that makes things like this so spectacular. More, please.

Mr. Green announced that Alex and Jenny would be signing CD's and meeting with fans after the show and after an orchestral finish the show was over. I had hoped that they would return to the stage to take their bows because that was when I had planned to hand them their flowers but sadly it was not to be, it would have to wait until the M&G. Considering that the 700-seat venue was almost soldout, there were surprisingly few people who stuck around. Mark and I loitered in the hallway and I took pictures while we waited for the line to dwindle. Finally I positioned myself last in line and anxiously waited my turn.

The first item on the agenda was to deliver the flowers. I had separate arrangements for each of them. Jenny's was Christmas-themed with lots of red and green while Alex's had a slight Irish twist with some orange mixed with the green to represent the Irish flag. I also included two peach-colored roses in Alex's arrangement as a tribute to Henny; we had given her a bouquet of peach roses in Helsingborg. Cry

Next it was chocolate time. I had gotten two different assortments so they could mix and match between themselves and it didn't take Alex long to get her box open and partake! The last gift was a Fiddler Crossing sign for Jenny. When I saw her in Salt Lake City last December I was returning from my trip to the Netherlands to see Orla and Evi and I didn't have any signs with me. I rectified that tonight and both Jenny and her husband, Matthew, were quite impressed with the sign. I gave her one to keep and had her sign one for my collection. After signing it she decided to add a message and without thinking she signed it again. She felt bad that she had screwed it up so I gave her a “mulligan” and now I have two autographed signs from Jenny! There was also the small matter of those posters, so one was liberated from its bulletin board and properly signed. Then we all chatted for a while and took the obligatory pictures. In all, we spent well close to 30 minutes talking with Alex, Jenny and Matthew. All too soon it was time to say goodbye. I told Alex that I had a lot of requests to pass along hugs so we shared an extra long one, just to make everyone happy. It' a tough job but somebody's got to do it. Smiley

What a splendid day and night this was. Not too shabby for a Friday the 13th, my new lucky day.

My namesake academy:


Alex with two of her youngest fans:


The girls with their flowers:


Me with Jenny:


Me with Alex:


The standard thorn between roses photo. I never get tired of those.
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Mike

Apollomoon
Administrator
Alex is in My Heart
*****
Posts: 618


Simply Stunning


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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 02:11:36 PM »

Thanks Mike...that was a good one. I liked the "thorn" pic the best LOL.. The one of Alex with the little girls was very special..thanks.
I know she was terribly ill during her time there but I am sure she did her best for you all. She is a trooper for sure  Wink
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Daniel
Sharpie Fan
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Posts: 84



« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 02:34:03 PM »

Tanks for a lovely review Mike, again you had a great time seeing her perfome. She is so genuine and real. And what a realy nice gesture to give her the peach roses. He live's in our hearts Cry. Again thank you Mike.
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Lily
Sharpie Fan
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Posts: 14



« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 11:18:36 PM »

Thanks for the review! Hopefully I will be able to see Alex live if she comes to the Midwest, but until then I have to live off the reviews  Smiley
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steveyoung
Sharpie Fan
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Posts: 66


« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 02:09:24 PM »

Thanks for taking the time to post this! You'll never look at Friday the 13th the same again!
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Moscapoet
Sharpie Fan
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Posts: 94


I'm a Sharpie!


« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 12:54:38 PM »

Marvelous review and great photos! Just brings a huge smile. I so wish she had come west again for Christmas. Congrats on an amazing night!
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