Monday, July 17, 2006

Two for the road

Being that it's my mother's birthday this month, (since a girl never wants her age exposed, we'll just say she's somewhere between 75 and 77) I wanted to do something special with her.

Spending time, creating a memory together, is really the best gift I know of. Since my mother and I both love the music of her generation, the standards, I knew that Michael Feinstein and Linda Eder at the Greek Theater, would be just the right memory to create.

And, boy, was I right!

The Greek Theater, in a word, is magic. It is an open air theater, like the Hollywood Bowl, but on a much smaller scale.

I have seen my share of concerts at the Greek, starting with my very first concert, back in 1973...CHICAGO.

Talk about a girl in heaven. Not only did I see them once that summer, but twice. The second time, my boyfriend and I took a chance, drove down there, and purchased front row tickets that someone hadn't picked up in willcall. We sat in the front row...watching them sweat...it was glorious.

Also, in the 70's, I saw the amazing Carol King...it was the release of her Tapestry album...a flawless album, that still remains one of the best selling of all time.

Neil Diamond performed his famous "Hot August Night" concert there as well.

Last year, Mr. Cruisin surprised me with tickets to Chicago and Earth, Wind, and Fire...holy crap, it was like being in high school all over again. (But in a good way).

Last night, we arrived early and watched as people poured into their seats. It was a warm, still night...you couldn't have ordered more perfect weather.

The guy selling water...was having a field day...four bucks for a bottle of water...OUTRAGEOUS!!! Why, I spend that on an entire box of water! We refused. Better we should faint in our seats, then pay that ridiculous price for water.

Now, of course when the candy guy came along pushing his wares...we didn't blink at paying the same price for peanut m&m's. Know your priorities.

The evening was filled with the beautiful voices of Michael Feinstein and Linda Eder...singing Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Gershwin tunes, with a smattering of Rogers and Hart.

They both have an ease about them, music and words flowing effortlessly, with a down to earth way of humor and expression, that made those of us in the audience feel as though we were sitting in our best friend's livingroom.

My mom and I soaked up the music, the words, the voices, and humor.

Linda Eder sang a song called "If I Could", that just blew me away. These two verses sum up everything a parent must come to terms with as their child grows:

If I could
I would try to shield your innocence from time
But the part of life I gave you isn't mine
I've watched you grow
So I could let you go

If I could
I would help you make it through the hungry years
But I know that I can never cry your tears
But I would
If I could


The part of life I gave you isn't mine...I've watched you grow so I could let you go...

Those words just about knocked the breath out of me.

My mother and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening...hopefully a memory we will take with us for many years to come.

I thought about the concert all day today. I'm not sure why. In the midst of the world turing upside down, perhaps a little escape, a little humor, and a little magic...is necessary for the human spirit.

All I know is, it's just what these two old ladies needed last night.

15 comments:

torontopearl said...

You know how I feel about Michael, so there's not much more to say about that. Yes, I'm envious, but nonetheless.... happy birthday to your mom, and I think you chose to do something beautiful together to mark the event.

kasamba said...

How heartwarming to read about your night out with your mom!
And M&Ms beat water any day- after all you can live without water...

Here's wishing your Mom many happy returns!

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Sounds very special.

PsychoToddler said...

When I was a kid we used to drive down to Miami to spend Pesach in the hotel where my grandmother lived. At least once per trip she would drag me down to the night club to watch Luke Salem perform his show. He was a stereotypical lounge lizard with an open shirt, hairy chest, and enough chains to suspend a bridge.

But all the old ladies were wild for him.

"Ohhh, dat Look Shalemm, vhat a voy-ece!"

We sat at the first table and he would throw out little yiddish phrases (even though I'm pretty sure he wasn't Jewish): "Look at all the shayna maidels out here tonight."

I wonder what my grandmother would have thought about my singing career.

JMK2006 said...

Your post in sympatico with Pearl's latest.

My first residence in Berkeley was a few blocks from the Greek. I listened to the Grateful Dead play there -- from my house.

Happy birthday, cruisin-grandmom!

cheated are the clouds said...

What a thoughtful daughter you are cruisin, Good for you making memories, the place you descibed sounds awesome, I would love to see a show in that atmoshere, especially Chicago, happy birthday mom

cruisin-mom said...

T.P.: I know you love Michael...and I can see why. Thanks for the bday wishes to my mom.

kasamba: thank goodness you understand...of course you can live without water :)

SWFM: thanks, it was.

P.T.: Your grandma would have loved your singing career, are you kidding? As my grandma would have said: "Vuts not to love, dahlink?"
(Luke Salem sounds like Bill Murray on SNL singing Star Wars).

JMK: different Greek, but I'm sure similar in nature! Cruisin-grandmom! LOL

CATC: the place truely is awesome! Thanks on behalf of my mom for the bday wishes!

Head over heel said...

Oh how nice of you taking your mom out to such a great event.

I took my mom out to Bob Dylan's concert...I should have known better, he is better on an audiorecord than live. We left before the 2nd half and had dinner at a fancy restaurant instead ;-)

P.S. I like the lyrics you wrote down...even though this day may still be "fare" away for me it may come sooner than I think it will.

Ralphie said...

Can't believe I've never been there. Looks like I'll have a chance soon...

cruisin-mom said...

HOH: you can take me to a Dylan concert anytime!

Ralphie: I'm probably gonna get killed for saying this...but I'm just not that into the guy.

Stacey said...

What a fabulous and special bday gift, Randi! How thoughtful of you.

You and I have the same taste in music. I have seen Chicago (although not in '73, I was only 5 then) and Neil Diamond (several times). Carole King's Tapestry is one of the best album's of all-time. I love it. And I was fortunate enough to see Michael Feinstein a few years ago. He is amazing.

Those song lyrics brought tears to my eyes. My daughters are only 4 & 2, but growing up way tooooo fast!

Ralphie said...

No reason to die for not being into Matisyahu. In any case, I ain't shelling out 40 bucks to see him.

cruisin-mom said...

Stacey: wow, we really do like the same music...you had to rub in the 5 years old thing?!!!
Those lyrics are so pretty, really got me.

Ralphie: He's just not for me.

Sweettooth120 said...

I never heard of Linda Eder until recently on AOL radio. I loved her voice as soon as I heard it.

Even though my children are quite young, I wonder how a parent does it - letting them go and trusting that you given them enough confidence, common sense, and belief in themselves to let them explore, discovery and go out on their own.

Wendy said...

That's so nice. "Experience" gifts are so special! I'm sure you'll both treasure this memory....