Yesterday DH and I headed into NYC to the Art Deco splendor that is Radio City Music Hall (along the way we saw the remnants of a street fair on Avenue of the Americas, which was closed to auto traffic)...
... to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in concert. The concert included a viewing of the movie that was rather like reverse karaoke – the images, dialogue, and sound effects were from the movie, but the music was live. Here's the orchestra, chorus, and movie screen awaiting the conductor.
I was completely engrossed by the multi-media presentation – I didn't even knit on the sock I brought. Howard Shore's score includes some ethereal vocalizing best heard live. Another fascination was the musical instruments unfamiliar to me – mutant violins, a contrabassoon on steroids, extra-low register brass instruments, and lots and lots and lots of unusual percussion (perhaps the most novel was chains struck against the exposed wires of an upright piano). Then there was the giddy joy of owning geeky fandom. The collective vibe was part jazz concert, part cult movie – there was generous applause both for the live solos and for the action on the movie screen. I suppose that may have been a bit strange for the live performers, but it's wonderful to be part of an enthusiastic and appreciative audience. The composer received a standing ovation when he came onstage.
The unpretentious, old-fashioned Modern glamor of the venue was an additional pleasure. I love the now-retro name and decor, the grand lobby with its soaring ceiling, art glass chandelier, and sweeping staircase, the handsome concession stands that offer both adult beverages and boxes of popcorn, the relaxed policy on photography – a diva-esque assurance that patrons will want to snap pictures but will not make nuisances of themselves. Even the restrooms are worthy of a visit. I didn't take any pix inside the lounge, but here's one of the bronze statues outside, Spirit of the Dance. I also didn't take any pix of Stephen Colbert, who was there with his family.
All in all, this concert was the most fun I've ever had at a classical music concert. Ringheads who missed the music can console themselves at an exhibit of Tolkien manuscripts at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus now through November 12 for free.
ETA: Be sure to enter my blog contest, open through October 15.