Sunday, November 8, 2009

Galaxy Fest

What is it about that orchestral punch that accompanies the words "A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away"? There's no preceding musical buildup. There are no whiz-bang action sequences that demand a musical 'boom.'

Just some simple words against a black background promoting an incredible visceral experience.

And I felt it last night. Naomi and I, nerds that we are, attended the Star Wars In Concert last night in Charlotte. For those of you unfamiliar with this traveling musical show, imagine having a large orchestra and chorus performing to beautifully paced edited vignettes of Star Wars history. Live. If you think about it, such a performance would require timing of the most demanding of tall orders.

When we heard about the upcoming performance, we instantly decided we had to see it. We passed on costumes. Naomi passed on doing a Princess Leia doo, not enough hair. I passed on Chewbacca, too much hair. But there were many who attended who had just enough hair and chutzpah to share their love for the lore.

It wasn't a full house, but it was a loving house. Kids waving green blinking, pencil sized light sabers. Big kids waving their larger, and just as lethaless, light sabers. Chick-fil-A provided a Darth Cowder, complete with a black-helmet that fit poorly. No bull. I think he was saying things like "Use the forks, Luke," and "Come with me, and have the dark meat."

When the lights came down and the orchestra boomed, I admit I got chills. Something about that open ordered my senses and memories, aligned them appropriately, and I felt the overwhelming sense of belonging.

Unlike a rock concert, we weren't singing with the band. It was a communal feast, our eyes fixed on the screen, our ears on the orchestra. In between segments, Anthony Daniels provided a history of the universe according to George Lucas.

It was beautiful, really. At first, all I wanted to carry away with me after the concert was just the memory of a wonderful date night and the incredible music. I saw how much the programs were during intermission, and I balked at the price. After the extended standing ovation and the closing encore piece, emotions got the better of me, and I gleefully bought a program.

Part of the tour includes an exhibit of film paraphernalia including the Darth habit and Solo in carbonite. I'm still kicking myself because I forgot our camera. And Naomi continues to kick.

I'm not sure if the tour is coming near you, but even if you have a modicum of affection for the Star Wars saga, I urge you to attend. A large time was had by all.

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