It was . . . different from my previous symphony experience. A very different crowd. I felt sympathy for the few regular symphony patrons who may have been feeling some resentment at the lowbrows filing in, fully conscious that this is helping keep the symphony from financial difficulty, and tolerating it because of that. Or maybe they felt grateful that more people were going to the symphony regardless of the reason.
I had worried prior to the show that I was underdressed in my lavender linen suit, but I needn't have been concerned, given the jeans, etc. I saw. And yes,there were a few folks in Elvish costume.
I mostly enjoyed it, but the show did have some issues, and I have to say, being honest, had I known what it would be when I bought the tickets, I probably would have thought twice about purchasing them. The show seems to be a traveling event, pulling local talent in each city to perform the work. The Gwinnett Children's Chorus, for example, was present, and some church choir, big fish in a little pond, Celine Dion wannabe called Sisser (no last name) was the adult female soloist performing "Into the West." Okay, she wasn't that bad, but it always bugs me when singers try to put their own spin on material that they're supposed to be rendering in a faithful fashion. I mean, if the orchestra musicians have to play the notes they're given in order to deliver an accurate facsimile of the work, then singers should have to try to reproduce the original as best they can.
Also, the boy soprano was terrible. I'm sorry, but he was. As David said, why don't they just hire and take a member of the Vienna Boys Choir around with them, rather than trying to find a local? I mean, the South isn't exactly known for encouraging their young males to become boy sopranos. :/
Even the symphony itself had a few missteps. The whole thing seemed to need a bit more time in rehearsal.
On the bright side, at the end, they brought out Alan Lee, which was kind of neat and unexpected. They had two screens on either side of the stage displaying his sketches and drawings for the Lord of the Rings while the musicians performed. Additionally, during "The Bridge of Khazhad-Dum" they projected images of flame on the back wall of the stage, while during Shire and Lothlorien themes, they projected images of leaves and forest.
Another bright point was running into Todd and Sheryl. We haven't seen them in quite some time, and Todd is an old V:TES friend of David's.
Beforehand, we got together with Michael R., who was also attending the show, for dinner. We got to try not only a new restaurant, but new cuisine: none of us had ever tried Indonesian before. We went to Bali Indah, on Cheshire Bridge Road. We all started with a coconut chicken soup. David and Michael ordered chicken dishes, while I had squid, then each of us tried a different dessert. Michael had coconut rolls, while David had this spicy fruit salad. I liked mine best: the avocado smoothie was pleasant and soothing, and didn't taste particularly like avocado, actually.
If I had to describe it, it was sort of like Thai food, but lighter, and with some of the flavors one might encounter in Indian cuisine. I liked it, and felt that the lighter broth was well-suited to the hot climate of the sunny South.