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Topic: Salem Civic Center stream of conciousness fan review...



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AuthorTopic:   Salem Civic Center stream of conciousness fan review...
leebee
Registered User

Registered:
1/19/2004

Fav. BP Song: Being Alive
Fav. BP Show: Sunday In The Park With George

posted: 3/9/2013 at 1:54:21 AM ET
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setlist: Overture/Let Me Entertain You/ No One Is Alone/ Dame/ Fever/ Enchanted Evening/ Mr Snow/ Buddy's Eyes/ Losing My Mind/ Johanna/ Send In the Clowns/ Shenandoah/ Children Will Listen/ With So Little / You Could Drive A Person Crazy/ Being Alive / Kramer's Song
First off I have to say that this was the strangest place I have ever seen Bernadette perform in. The Salem Civic Center is one of those big sheds where you would see a basketball game or a car show. The concession counters where selling beer and popcorn and hot dogs, just like you would get at a ball game. It was pretty hysterical actually. Rows and rows of bright plastic seats along the sides in steep stadium style bleachers. The floor was covered in fold out tables with table cloths set with wine and cake and cookies and little cubes of cheese, like my last New Years' party or something. Bernadette made a real funny joke about it actually, saying "how is the picnic in the park going out there? Are the ants getting in the way?" A very drunk woman behind me complained that she didn't like her seat and said rather loudly that they should have sprung for the floor seats so that she could "drink wine and stuff". A couple of times you could hear glass beer bottles dropping on the hard floor and spinning. So, you know, not the Strathmore, certainly.
The Roanoke Symphony (I could swear that Bernadette called them "the rolling oak symphony orchestra") were all dressed casually, like a music in the park kind of thing, and Cubby looked like the odd man out in his concert tux attire. They got kind of sloppy a few times, the intro to Nothing Like a Dame in particular, and the horn section threw some bad clams during the climatic parts of So Little to Be Sure Of.
Still this was a really fun show and Bernadette was great. It was really interesting to see how she subtley changed her performace to accomodate a bigger room - grander gestures, broader movements across the big stage, longer heavier pauses in the phrasing, and it all worked really well. The audience ate it up. She seemed to have a cold or some congestion, more obvious when she was talking than when she was singing, and she held off on some of the top notes. She still nailed it tho on those long dynamic cresendos in Johanna and the final notes of Being Alive were astoundingly powerful. She gave us a really emotional, wonderful reading of Losing My Mind and a very heartfelt Shenandoah (noting that we were in the actual Shenandoah Valley) that made me think very much about how the origins of that song go back almost two hundred years and Bernadette seems to have her own very special connection to it somehow. Send In The Clowns is in the program now and it is a powerful performance, much like the one she was doing on Broadway (which was one of my favorite Bernadette moments ever). She was in a chipper mood and was very funny, adding some casual asides to her usual song introductions that were pretty witty. The audience was very responsive and much more fun than some of the senior citizen wealthy symphony patron kind of shows I have seen. Lastly, "You Can Drive A Person Crazy" is apparently a very difficult song to sing when you have a cold!

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