It is the second to last day of May. My favorite month (as you all know)... And I was finally getting a chance to see him... One of my favorite people...
I find myself -- in heels-- racing past a sophisticated bar – decidedly skipping a long awaited glass of pinot noir to take the flight of marble stairs two by two -- hand in hand with my husband.
My husband humorously watching my face as I try to hide the excitement bursting from every part of my being as we breathlessly run past the concierge.
We can hear the familiar sounds of Keith Lockhart’s magical musical menagerie as it softly overflows onto our path. The melody slows our pace down as we blindly search for our seats in the balcony at Symphony hall.
We are asked to wait outside our entrance until the charismatic conductor and talented orchestra finish their magic. I begin to nibble on my fingernails – I am anxious to get inside.
It seems that it was virtually one hurdle after another to get into our beloved city of Boston in order to see this long awaited performance – A combination of activities making it difficult to find a reasonable place to park – The biggest being a Red Sox game bringing fans out and parking lot prices up..
But we managed. I love our city of Boston… Just as I love not having to be the one driving through it… Luckily I had a knowledgeable chauffer. I’m truly a “Norton country bumpkin”…
I remember receiving the envelope in the mail, addressed to me from the Symphony. My husband, hovering over me – excited for me to see what surprise was enclosed inside. I remember how a mixed emotional response from me confused him.
I was simultaneously overjoyed at the prospect of finally seeing this performance LIVE and deeply concerned about how we were going to maneuver this night out. The show was scheduled for a Wednesday night at eight o’clock. I had a sinking feeling…
As the mom of four kiddos I find weeknights are difficult (being understated here) to attempt anything but homework, dinner, carpooling, refereeing, tubs, bedtime stories, dishes and laundry. It is always a tornado of events, personalities, voices and needs in our house.
But, by some miraculous alignment of the stars.. And a generously insane offer from my husband’s Mom to sit with our four kiddos and sleep over – we made it.
This show was sold out. There was not an empty seat in the house, except for the two awaiting our slightly delayed arrival. Our seats were separated by a small set of stairs and a few people. But we did not care – we were just happy to be there.
As I sat in my balcony seat, the sights and sounds of the symphony brought me back to the moments that I had experienced this place as a child and young adult. I found myself wishing my parents were here with me watching this show. I love this hall; I could feel the stress be washed away as the musicians delighted my mind and spirit.
And intermission quickly came and went -- We did get to stop at the bar to get some refreshment – albeit Pellegrino on ice with a twist of lime. Almost as good as the Noir..
Feeling sophisticated and privileged, we returned to our seats.. Unbothered by being separated – as we were wrapped up in the excitement of seeing the long awaited performance of Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers.
And as I laughed at the familiar humor that made us all fall in love with him on the big screen – I felt a sense of wistful fulfillment and satisfaction. Who’d a thought me at a performance of Steve Martin, on a banjo – playing alongside Keith Lockhart’s musicians… at Symphony Hall… ?? I
I cannot say that I am surprised that Steven Martin chose to play the banjo. Banjo music is uniquely inspiring and upbeat all the while being quite difficult to master.
And as he played the tunes he had written – surprisingly touching melodies – I got a sense of my favorite actor – the music written by a relatable person – a regular Joe – combined with just a wild and crazy guy.
I found myself brimming with tears as they played “Daddy Played the Banjo” and “My Best Love." I felt almost ridiculous at the fact that Steve Martin was able to make me cry.. after years and years of just making me laugh. Crazy.
Not to worry though, it was the compositions “Break-ups Jubilation Day” and “Atheists Have No Songs” that reminded us of who exactly was on stage.
Only Steve Martin could mention something off color on stage at the Symphony Hall alongside Keith Lockhart -- and still get a standing ovation….
It was true Steve Martin Comedy – pure talent.
I would have liked to listen to him and his band a little longer that evening.. Although, I am sure whatever length the performance – it would not have been long enough for me.
Caught up in his song about Paul Revere’s horse – a gift for us Bostonians – he exited stage right and left us all in the hands of Keith Lockhart who wrapped up the show with enthusiasm. I could not stop smiling.
An amazing birthday gift…
A bucket list wish fulfilled.