In 1956, Lerner and Loewe collaborated on what would become one of the most endearing and beloved musicals of all time: My Fair Lady. The original run was in Philadelphia, and relatively short. But it opened on Broadway later that year and was the longest running show Broadway had ever seen, up until then. I have had the opportunity to play trombone for this musical 3 times in my career. It is truly an audience favorite as we maintained near full house attendance for 6 shows. Incidentally, over the span of my career (30 years), I have played in roughly 80 ( and several of those more than once) operas and musicals from Mozart to Verdi to Andrew Lloyd Webber. Each of those 80 operas/musicals averages about 7 performances per run. That’s about 560 times that I have sat in the pit and performed these amazing works of art. And imagine that the average running time is about 2 and 3/4 hours per performance. Yikes! Well another one is in the books and here are several photos to share in the fun.
Above are two pics of my “office” for the past two weeks. The Newyorker kept me occupied during the many dialog sections of show. I included two shots above that. Liz was playing principal flute:
You’ll notice we are in all black, and not formal black dress or tuxedos. In the pit, not being seen is key, so black pants and shirt are the uniform of the down under. Much more comfy too, I have to say. The last 4 pics are what happens to be going on, on stage. I can almost hear them sing and certainly can not see anything up above me. People ask me, “How’s the show?” I always respond, “I don’t know, but it sounds pretty good in the pit”. All these years of playing shows and I haven’t ever been able to see one! But I can tell you, The Rain in Spain, Falls Mainly in the Plain!
Two more events before we take off on sabbatical part three (California trip). Leaping Lulu, Liz’s Celtic band, performs their Celtic Night Celebration of music and dance on Saturday March 11. Then, the band will play on the Heber Creeper, an old train in the Heber Valley that now provides passenger rides and tours, on St Patrick’s Day. I will blog these two events together with some great pics of the band and the train. We leave March 18 and head to California for 5 weeks. I will be doing guest artist activities at Univ of the Pacific, Sonoma State and Santa Rosa Junior College. We will be in California for a total of 5 weeks before heading up the coast to Vancouver to see family. One last thing: If retirement is anything like what I have been doing this school year, sign me up!!