I served on the Host Committee for the Houston Symphony's Young Professionals Backstage presentation of Pink Martini. Pink Martini is led by Charles Lauderdale and "Diva Next Door" China Forbes. The perform a mix of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop. While I was working at SPA, we presented a number of artists like Pink Martini; those that are trying to bring younger audiences to classical musical art forms. While enjoyable, these groups tend to be a little too heavy handed with the mainstream music, sometimes to the detriment of the classical. This was certainly NOT the case with Pink Martini. They unleashed a dynamic performance that was so true to the various musical genres they were mashing together.
Charles is a charming host, often throwing together a laundry list of inspirations for the next piece that draw laughs and, in my case, a couple of WTF's! The coolest part of a performance like this is the presence of the Houston Symphony behind the artist. I was particularly impressed with the staging and lighting. I have not attended many Symphony performances, and Friday night made me wonder why. Of course, Pink Martini is intended to be a sugar pill to draw audiences in. It certainly didn't hurt to have the charismatic Robert Franz conducting a first act that was perfectly selected for the theme of the night.
But enough of that, my point here is I got so much out of a performance that I didn't necessarily expect. Of course I expected to enjoy myself, I had heard so much about Pink Martini to know it was going to be a very enjoyable evening. What I didn't expect was the satisfaction I felt sitting in Jones Hall during a Symphony performance. It's those moments you have to search for when considering a Theater District performance, and moments you may sometimes have to take a risk to find. The good news is, you don't really have to try all that hard, you just need to dive in, take a few laps.
As we get closer to the start of the next season, I'll point out a handful of performances I think you should pay attention to. Trust me, with just a little help from me, I'll have you playing the Theater District like a fiddle. Don't forget to Like these organizations on Facebook, that is going to be the easiest method for you to start getting information about what is going on in the Theater District. It also wouldn't hurt you to sign up for a Downtown newsletter or two.
See you at the Theater!Charles Lauderdale, China Forbes, Houston, Houston Symphony, Pink Martini, Theater District, Young Professionals, YPB