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9.1.06

Gilligan Goes to the Kennedy Center 

Gilligan greets from the Kennedy Center
Gilligan greets from the Kennedy Center

This review has been co-written by Gilligan, the bear, who attended his first concert at the Kennedy Center and discovered a budding literary talent thereupon. Some unique spellings have been adjusted and excessive puns involving ‘bears’ and ‘bees’ (his favorite animals) have been reduced to a bear bare minimum.

Gilligan gives his opinions
Gilligan gives his opinions
Last Saturday at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater, one of the NSO’s Teddy Bear Concerts, this one entitled “Tunes ‘n’ Tales”, took place. Ionarts’ mini-critic was indisposed and so Gilligan had to fill in. I duly tagged along with him, ready to meet up with another Teddy-friend that had promised Gilligan to go with him. After sitting outside the Kennedy Center, alone and waiting in vain, he shed a few tears having been stood up and we ventured upstairs to the theater. Crammed into a room full of little children isn’t my idea of a Saturday afternoon well spent and would normally hasten that appointment for the vasectomy, but NSO violinist Marissa Regni and veteran NSO harpist Dotian Levalier made it very painless affair. Attractive for children (and bears) but never cringe inducing, they joked, talked, played and explained their way through some 40 minutes of stories and music. After a little cat-chased-by-a-dog episode on harp and violin, Twinkle, twinkle little star on the instruments that the soloists themselves started out on (the tiny violin admittedly adorable) inspired a wonderfully cacophonous sing-along. The story of Ferdinand the Bull, musically enhanced, had a reasonable amount of kids transfixed. One kid remarked deadpan to his father: “I liked the story but I didn’t like the music.” Asked about the essentials that ought to be brought to a picnic, some other kid got very excited about Peanutbutter sandwiches and other foods they insisted be taken to that picnic – even long after the music had started. My kind of kid. An entertaining afternoon – but next time Gilligan wants to go, he’ll have to go with mini-critic and Charles.



Gilligan's first Stravinsky
Gilligan's first Stravinsky
Uuhhh! I could bearly barely wait to Bee be at the Kennedy Center. I think I didn’t sleep at all the night before. A “Teddy-Bear Concert”… it’s even named after me! And there was even a story about a bumble-bee! And there is a bull, too. But I don’t understand how the bumble-bee stings the bull because bumble-bees can’t sting. I know, because I, too, sat on one, once. They’re cute! And then they told a teddy-bear story. I hoped it was about Paddington, but it wasn’t. I think he is still in London. We got to know what culennyo col legno and pittsycuttoo pizzicato are! Mostly in a story about some bunny-rabbit. But I don’t think bunny-rabbits have anything to do with bears or bees so I took a nap to the beautiful music. I dreamt of a music box and I opened it and there was honey in it! Then Jens woke me because he said I was snoring. I don’t snore, but the other kids were very loud. And just as I was about to lick my honeyed paw. I think I’ll go again.

Gilligan pleads for a return visit
Gilligan pleads for a return visit
Upcoming concerts appropriate for children (and bears) will take place on February 18th (1PM and 3:30PM - NSO Kinderkonzert: Musical Opposites), February 19th (1PM and 3:30PM - NSO Ensemble: Connections: Math and Music, ages 9 and up) and March 12th (1PM and 3PM - NSO Family Concert: Happy Birthday W.A.M!, ages 7 and up, Emil de Cou conducting).

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