Thankful for…The Classical Mystery Mélange

I’ve got news for you, kids, and you should probably sit down for this: the Beatles are never, ever, ever getting back together.  (Go ahead and sing that insipid Taylor Swift song for a moment—I’ll wait.)  Here’s how I see it:  in my ideal world, Sir Paul triumphantly emerges from his Tofurky sunshine cave with a blindingly iridescent glow and condones the (responsible) consumption of organic, free-range chicken fingers.  Ringo finally stops performing songs that no one really wants to hear.  The duo reunites to form the wildly popular Beatles Remnant Band, proving that their fame of yesteryear shall never be extinguished.  They then proceed to save the economies of several third world countries solely with revenue from their merchandise sales, effectively pressing Sir Paul’s philanthropic happy button.  The world rejoices…and until that blessed moment of conjured reunion, Beatlemania will continue to limp along, inspiring tributes hither and thither and breeding new cohorts of John Lennon impersonators every Halloween.

Aside from my extravagant reveries, there are options for filling the long and winding Beatles void, such as last weekend’s Classical Mystery Tour was, indeed, mysterious.  I wondered how many/which drugs the Fab Four were taking when they wrote some of these songs.  The program primarily featured selections from the group’s 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, though earlier Beatles classics were interwoven, too.  Sgt. Pepper signified the group’s transition from boy band to…man band?  This show was for those of us who will never, ever, ever get to see the Beatles perform live (barring, of course, the slim possibility that my fantastic musings of an abbreviated reunion are realized).  The Mystery Tour was spectacular.  It had everything I’ve ever wanted in a Beatles performance but was afraid to hope for: wild costumes, unruly hair and heart-stoppingly sexy British accents.  The performers were dead-on Beatles doppelgangers, almost to a spooky degree.  I daresay that this replication may have been better than my fictional Beatles Remnant Band…a bold statement, I know, but I’m standing behind it.  Take that to the Tofurky cave.

On a different note, I would be sadly remiss in my duties as a PSO blogger if I did not take a serious moment to remember the late principal pops conductor, Marvin Hamlisch.  I miss the snarky banter that he shared with the orchestra and with the audience, and the ubiquitous lighthearted atmosphere that enveloped Heinz Hall when he was conducting.  He exuded a magical presence that was truly unique.  We’ve lost a shining star, an incredible talent who loved Pittsburgh and enchanted audiences with his effervescent joie de vivre.  I am thankful that I was able to experience the master at work in his element.

And for that, especially on this Thanksgiving weekend, I am truly grateful.

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