‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Missa Gaia

Last summer Curious George made an appearance at The Armchair Bookstore in Dennis. My kids like the Jack Johnson soundtrack, so I took them to meet the monkey.

I was all excited about getting a picture of the kids with George so I could check "take Christmas card photo" off my to-do list. We stood in line and it was fine. We got sort of close and it was sort of fine. When it was our turn the kids were paralytic with fear and would not respond to threats or bribery, nor could they be physically moved toward the 5' tall monkey because they were rooted to the ground never to move until he was safely back on a plane to New York.

I chalked it up to experience and then spent the rest of the summer shielding them from team mascots, fairground Sponge Bobs and a particularly frightening Disney Princess. All was well.

Except over the winter I forgot about this and went ahead and got tickets for the whole family to go see Missa Gaia. The next thing I know there's a 12 foot brother moon/woodland spirit/wiccan freaky thing LEANING OVER MY CHILDREN. I know I am sometimes prone to exaggeration, but it was really truly about 12 feet tall and it really truly did single out my children in a darkened theater (there weren't that many kids in attendance, making mine a tempting target).

Imagine my surprise when Lucy and Studley did not burrow into the seat cushions. And when a tree patted Lucy on the head with its long creaky-crookey branch arm, she did not throw up in my lap. Instead, they were enthralled.

It's a good thing they don't let you take pictures during these things because I would have missed it entirely due to the 5,000 pictures I'd take of the look on my kids' faces. The money shot was Studley sitting on his dad's lap - ramrod straight, unblinking, jaw slightly dropped. Chris' jaw was dropped slightly too, but that's because he was napping. I sort of wished one of those trees would come poke him in the head. Still, it wasn't as bad as that midnight Christmas service when he fell asleep and dropped his candle. We shan't be going back to that church again.

So I had never even heard of Living Arts Institute or Big and Small Mask Troupe but when I heard that Chatham Chorale was involved in a production called Missa Gaia, I figured how different from Missa Solemnis can it be?

Missa Solemnis: according to Wikipedia Beethoven referred to this as his finest work. I'm also pretty sure it's the first performance Boston Symphony did in their new Symphony Hall (in 1900), but can't seem to find proof of that in less than two minutes so you'll just have to believe me.

Missa Gaia: Think "Mannheim Steamroller celebrates Earth Day."

Chatham Chorale, plus dancing, plus really gigantic puppets... what's not to like? Curious George, we are so over you.

(adult human being in front of ridiculously large puppet)


Fred said...

Missa Gaia - I heard about that sometime last week, I think it was - during the Mindy Todd morning interview show on WCAI (Cape & Islands NPR station) - it was originally written/staged by the Paul Winter Consort, I believe, and premiered and is performed annually at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City.

Susan said...

Fred - by golly you're right! We liked it a lot. And welcome home, btw!