DPO’s Halloween Weekend focuses on family and the sheer horror of marital bliss
(see ticket contest details below the article)
Blind dates. Most of us have either been the one fixing someone up or the one being fixed up. Either way, it’s always a scary proposition. Women worry that the guy might turn out to be a nerdy dweeb or a totally insensitive caveman. Guys worry that the woman might look like their old Aunt Brunhilda and have the moral character of Mother Teresa.
As I said, scary.
Almost as if to underscore the validity of my remarks, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will be going out its way to prove the point. It has devoted the entire day, Saturday, October 29, to what frightens us most, both as children and as adults, especially adults of marriageable age.
First, the kids.
The DPO opens its 2011-2012 DP&L Family Series with its annual PhilharMonster concert at 3 pm featuring a musical depiction of the dangers of the wild in Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, a piece Prokofiev wrote (words and music) just for kids. It’s a story, told by a narrator with orchestral accompaniment, about a young boy named Peter (string instruments), who defiantly tells his grandfather (a bassoon) that – simply because he lives in his grandfather’s cottage in a forest full of wild animals – does not mean he is afraid of any old wolf. To scold him, his grandfather takes him back into the cottage and locks the gate.
Soon after, a big wolf (French horns) does come, and Peter enlists a cat (a clarinet), a bird (a flute), and a duck (an oboe) to help him as he ropes the wolf and holds him for local hunters (a woodwind theme, with gunshots on timpani and bass drum) to take to the zoo. Full of himself, Peter leads the entourage in a victory parade. At the end, the narrator tells the audience, “If you listen very carefully, you’d hear the duck quacking inside the wolf’s belly, because the wolf in his hurry had swallowed her alive.”
And the narrator?
Niki Dakota, WYSO’s Music Director and Host of the program Excursions. Not afraid of much herself, Niki spent much of her young life moving around the United States with her archeologist mother. By the time the family settled in Cincinnati, Ms. Dakota found herself in pursuit of professional music-making as she headed-up the Alterna-Folk band, Plow On Boy. In the course of her first live radio interview to promote the band, Niki’s keen excitedness manifested itself in extreme chattiness. At the conclusion of the segment, the DJ closed the mic and said, “You need to be in radio.” She took his advice. That was in 1990. And since 2002 we in the Miami Valley have been the grateful beneficiaries of that advice.
Next, the adults.
To tell the story of the blind date from hell, Saturday night at 8 pm, the DPO presents its first Special Event of the season, providing live music to accompany the showing of the 1935 film The Bride of Frankenstein. This timeless horror classic features a score composed by iconic Hollywood composer Franz Waxman. And the story? You think you’ve seen some bad blind dates?
You ain’t seen nothing yet.
The film, the first of three sequels to Frankenstein (1931), starts out as a buddy flick. Henry Frankenstein has given up his plans to make living creatures out of bits and pieces of dead ones. But, you see, if he does that, then his horny old buddy, the Monster, will have to do without.
So Henry, egged on by Henry’s old adviser Dr. Pretorius and the fact that Pretorius has had the Monster kidnap Henry’s missus to give Henry the proper incentive, starts to build his buddy a mate.
It was a dark and stormy night…
Well, it actually was, when Henry completed the last few steps needed to bring the Bride of Frankenstein to life. What happens next is right out of Ben Franklin’s bio. Her body, wrapped in bandages, rises through the roof where lightning strikes a kite and shoots electricity through her. “She’s alive! Alive!” Henry cries, removing her bandages and helping her to stand.
Now this is the part of this blind date where it gets particularly spooky and way out of hand.
Turned on more than any time since Henry originally brought him to life with similar electro-shock therapy, the excited Monster sees his bride, reaches out to her, and uses the lamest of all pickup lines: “Friend?” Well, what else could any self-respecting Monster-Bride-To-Be do but reject him? Twice. And screaming through it all, no less.
PhilharMonster Halloween Concert
DP&L Family Series
Saturday, October 29 ~ 2011
Schuster Center, 3 pm
Click for Tickets
Well, the monster’s not all that dumb. He gets it. “She hate me! Like others.” he says, his erector-set heart broken. As Henry’s wife runs to his side, the Monster starts to demolish the lab. Henry tells Elizabeth that he can’t leave. But the Monster, firmly resolved never to let anyone ever set him up again tells Henry and Elizabeth, “Yes! Go! You live!” To Pretorius and his bride, he says, “You stay. We belong dead.”
Bride of Frankenstein with Orchestra
Saturday, October 29 ~ 2011
Schuster Center, 8pm
Click for Tickets
While Henry and Elizabeth flee, the Monster sheds a tear, and his bride hisses (yes, hisses) at him and pulls a lever that destroys the lab and tower.
And should you happen to take a blind date to the concert, don’t worry. Compared to the bride of Frankenstein, he or she will seem heaven-sent.
As opposed to having come from the other place.
We have FIVE PAIRS of tickets to see the Bride of Frankenstein with Orchestra (courtesy of The Dayton Philharmonic)! Simply fill out the form below and “like” both the On Stage Dayton and Dayton Philharmonic Facebook pages (make sure you’re logged into Facebook first). We’ll randomly draw five ticket-pair-voucher winners on Tuesday October 25th at 4pm – check back here to see if you’ve won. GOOD LUCK!
Contest closed…. And the winners are:
Cher Collins (Dayton)
Jennifer Krohn (Yellow Springs)
Julie Westwood (Centerville)
Christa VanHoesen (Beavercreek)
Liz Hudson (Dayton)