Saturday, May 12, 2007

 
Fritz and I spent the night with this man, sadly not in the Biblical sense. Brian Stokes Mitchell, at the top of his game in a relaxed, vibrant performance, played to a well-filled Sanders Theater last night and demonstrated why he's a big Broadway star.

The program was announced to last for 75 minutes without int--mission but Mitchell was so generous with encores--demanded by a crowd on its feet and begging for more--that it went to 105 minutes and could have gone longer as far as the audience was concerned. There were songs from his Broadway successes as well as jazz and pop numbers that fit into the frame. Halfway through, like Barbara Cook in her concert appearances, he put down the microphone to sing "This nearly was mine" from South Pacific. He filled--and I mean FILLED--Sanders with his warm, sexy, expressive voice.

His final encore was "The impossible dream" from Man of La Mancha. After singing the entire number with mic, he dropped it to his side for the climax and with his own natural, unamplified voice, topped the volume and energy level of what had come before. The two songs from South Pacific that he sang during the evening had been written for one of the great operatic bass voices of the 20th century, the handsome, charismatic Ezio Pinza. For those numbers, Mitchell produced a solid, gorgeously colored legitimate bass that opened out on top with no sense of strain. I honestly believe this man could sing ANYTHING.

*******

Phone call today from my elder daughter with congratulations on the big farewell party for me at MIT tonight--after which she hit me with this:

ED: Are you aware you outed yourself to the entire Willamette University community?"
Me: How did I manage THAT?
ED: You didn't but their Public Relations Office found your blog."
Me: How? Not that I mind; I'm completely out to everyone, I might as well be out to them.
ED: They google the school every day to check up on anything people are saying about
Willamette. You didn't mention any names but they read that J is joining the
Math Department and put two and two together. So now the Department knows about their new Math Professor's gay father-in-law with the sustainable, green house in New Hampshire. Everything's green and
environmentally friendly out there.

I told her that Fritz and I can't wait to go out and visit, spending time in both Salem and Portland. Fritz has been to Oregon but I never have, and I'm looking forward to spending some real time there.

*******


This is totally gratuitous but why not? Having begun with one gorgeous singer, here's another, the Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. I have no other reason to post this today except that I think beauty is its own reward.

Comments:
Okay, is it just me, or did I miss an update on the house sale? I mean, in spite of this guy being beautiful, and the fact that The Impossible Dream would still me on my feet clapping, I was expecting a house update. And, of course, we'll be having drinks on the patio here in Portland......
 
The next milestone on the house sale is the house inspection scheduled for this Tuesday. It shouldn't be a big problem unless the inspector discovers that the house is in danger of imminent collapse--which isn't going to happen.

What we've agreed to with the guy who wants to buy it is that he will buy it "as is" since he's planning a major make-over anyway. There's little sense my doing work that will just be done over or ripped out several weeks after it's finished.

Not to worry, Lewis, there will be regular updates, and thanks for your enthusiastic interest!
 
I *almost* worked at the box office for the show in Sanders, but had a friend's exhibit opening at the Carpenter Center at the same time. I wish I could have made it!!
 
Sounds like a wonderful evening! When at Transylvania University (liberal arts college here in Lexington, KY) I did a lot of work with the theater department, recording concerts and fixing lights. I miss crawling through the ceiling, focusing lights.
 
I'm glad you didn't say "gorgeous bass," since that would have been redundant.
 
Just my two cents...

Dmitri Hvorostovsky has a wonderful voice. I'm always amazed at how focused and powerful it is. Like I said, two cents... ;)
 
So, what I am hearing is that Willamette University pays people to read blogs all day. Nice work if you can get it.

I hope you had a great time at the MIT party.
 
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