Amy Artisan

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Category: In the Audience (page 3 of 3)

Up for air…

Contrary to popular belief, I haven’t quite fallen off the face of the earth. To say that the last month has been busy would be a mild understatement. I don’t use this space to talk about work – suffice to say that the project in Chattanooga has consumed most of my time recently. Four months ago today I arrived on the project – today was the big milestone – “go live” with the new application. That doesn’t mean that my work is slowing down any – in fact, it will be just as busy as the last month. All that to say…I’ve missed writing out here, keeping up to date with blog friends and doing a lot of the things that find their way onto the pages of Amy Artisan.

This will be a brief post…sleep is definitely calling my name this evening.

First, thanks to everyone for your sweet birthday comments for my Grandma. We have printed out the comments for her – she is so tickled that all my friends would leave wishes for her. When I was home Labor Day weekend I did the simple dishcloth knitting as a de-stresser. One evening while we were all in the great room Grandma looked at me knitting and commented “I’m so glad you learned how to knit.” I am too!

There is very little to report on the knitting front recently – the long hours working have meant little time to knit while on the road. Also, not so much reading has been happening either.

A highlight of the last month was the return of Pink Martini to Chicago! It was a great SOLD OUT concert at the House of Blues. As we were waiting to go inside & everying was queueing up in line you could see the same expression on each face…wow, I can’t believe this many people in Chicago like/know Pink Martini. The set was a different order than I’ve heard before and a lot of the arrangements were just a bit different than previous concerts. It was a lovely evening which started with a fun dinner at Bin 36 – one of my favorite Chicago restaurants.

To those of you who’ve sent emails asking if everything was alright – thank you. To my sister, now you don’t have to leave nasty comments asking for a new post. : )

I have several posts bouncing around in my head – hopefully I will be able to put e-pen to e-paper soon and return to the “normal” Amy Artisan entries that I enjoy creating.

Arts under the stars

While browsing through The New York Times yesterday one of the top articles I saw was about a favorite Southern California summertime event – the tableau vivant that is Pageant of the Masters. Reading that article got me thinking about some of my favorite arts that have happened “under the stars.” Since work travel is limiting my “arts events” this summer I’ll take a stroll down memory lane and share some of my favorite events.

One of the first outdoor experiences I remember was seeing productions by PCPA in Solvang, CA. My parents had season tickets & I went to a couple of the shows when I was in second grade – Hank Williams – King of Country Music and Carousel. The evenings were a bit chilly so I remember being layered to stay warm & sharing hot cocoa from a thermos with my Dad.

My Grandma used to live in Orange County, CA – one summer when I was in elementary school I was lucky enough to go see Pageant of the Masters. Wow! What an experience – seeing “everyday people” transform into these incredible works of art was something not forgotten. In 2002 I was able to grab tickets for another show & was just as impressed, if not more so, to see the artworks. This time, a favorite was the recreation of the first Wonder Woman comic book cover. (I recommend you view the NY Times slide show on the Pageant to get an idea of what is involved in staging this event.)

When we lived in Overland Park, KS, we spent many a summertime evening at Shawnee Mission Park enjoying the great performances of Theater in the Park. For $5 a carload we saw many of the great Broadway musicals. One year my sister’s birthday party was held out there in conjunction with a show. These community theater productions definitely hooked my sister & I on musicals. In the 17 years since we left Kansas, on many occasions someone in the family has said “I wish we could go to Theater in the Park.”

Ten years ago I was living in Greenville, SC at my first job after college. On July 4th, my roommate and I went out to Furman University for their celebration - alum Keith Lockhart conducted an incredible symphony concert – including the 1812 Overture and fireworks that seemed as though they were reigning down on us. During that same month, one weekend my Dad & sister drove up from Atlanta (to escape the Olympic craziness) and we went to a local amphitheater to see Much Ado About Nothing. A local theater company had set the play in post World War II Italy – so the clothes were “newer” but the script was the same. This is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays so seeing this new twist was a lot of fun. Before the play began there was a summer downpour – so we were a bit soaked but that only adds to our memory of the experience.

As I’ve mentioned before, in 2002 I saw Pink Martini at The Hollywood Bowl. The other band that night was Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. It was an all around fun evening – the next time I go to the Bowl I’d love to have seats in the Garden Boxes or Terrace Boxes and enjoy a great picnic at the seatside tables.

Chicago has 2 spectacular summer concert venues. Ravinia Festival is a 100 year + summer tradition. The lawn is a great place to picnic – you can picnic as big or as small as you want to & you see a bit of everything…from linens, china & crystal to buckets of chicken & a roll of paper towels. I’ve never sat in the Pavillion & seen the artists – but on the lawn I’ve enjoyed the sounds of James Galway, Nancy Griffith, Tony Bennett & many more. In 2004, Millennium Park opened along the lakefront and among the treasures in the park is the Jay Pritzker Pavillion designed by Frank Gehry (one of my favorite architects). During the summer months the Grant Park Music Festival has free concerts & the huge lawn is just perfect for a picnic – it is great fun to watch the sunset through the overhead trellis & see the lights of the city skyscrapers come on. (the picture above is from a concert in 2004)

It’s your turn now…what are some of your favorite arts events under the stars?

Think Pink…Pink Martini that is!

So I had already been planning this post, with this picture…then Lolly’s Project Spectrum was announced & I thought this post is an “early entry” into Project Spectrum. The picture was taken in “full color” & then I had some fun on Snapfish with the effects & applied the pink tint. I have never been much of a “pink person” – without a doubt this is my favorite pink! 🙂

Pink Martini

For the last couple of years, whenever anyone asks what my favorite band is I immediately answer Pink Martini. I first discovered this band in 2002 when I saw them in concert at The Hollywood Bowl & I was instantly hooked. In fact when I saw them, I flew home from LA to Chicago late on Sunday night – got up early on Monday morning to drive to my project in South Bend IN & at lunchtime on Monday went to the South Bend Border’s to pick up their “Sympathique” CD.

In September 2005 they “finally” came to Chicago & yep, I was at both sold out shows at The Hothouse.

The concert experiences at the 2 different venues were like night and day – but both were incredible experiences. (The above picture is from their show at The Hothouse.)

Both CDs are in constant play in my car stereo, home stereo & on my laptop at work. This is music that can be on constant repeat loop for me & I never get tired of it. Pink Martini has always had a good following in Europe and when I was in Italy in June I heard them on the radio while strolling through a piazzo in Rome – how appropriate. If you haven’t heard them before I’d encourage you to check them out. I have noticed their music turn up in several movie soundtracks.

Back to Project Spectrum…when I was uploading these pictures to print out for the scrapbook I picked the pink tint for all the pictures I wanted to include in the layout for the Sept. concerts…pink & black pictures on black pages with pink paper…I haven’t put those pages together yet (way behind!)…I’ll post them here when I’m done – hopefully in March for Project Spectrum’s Red/Pink Month.

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