Merry Carol Burnett Show

For those of you thinking about taking your kids to a holiday pops concert (read: variety show), you might think about purchasing a flask.

Don't be alarmed by what sounds like a giant vacuum cleaner turned on during the Seattle Symphony Orchestra's lovely rendition of "White Christmas."

Thanks, Tom Keogh of the Seattle Times, but I won’t be alarmed; I’ll be mildly tipsy.

What seemed initially like a terrible gaffe in an otherwise wonderful opening night of "Holiday POPS with Marvin Hamlisch" [...] turned out to be a cue to the audience to look up and see something unexpected.

A vacuum cleaner on the ceiling?

Snowflakes were falling from on high...

On high? Ugh.

...in Benaroya Hall, thanks to some unseen if unfortunately noisy machine.

Awesome. A loud machine spewing snowflakes (or shaved ice) on my head, inside a concert hall. How delightful. (I know the kids love that sort of thing, but, man alive, that’s why concerts take place inside, right? That’s why you give your The North Face, B McMurdo Parka to the nice coat-check person.)

Hamlisch, the symphony's principal pops conductor, expressed such a strong wish during the show that snow would hit Seattle, he...?

1. Evoked the name of Brittney Spears.
2. Made it snow in the concert hall.
3. Played a video of a local meteorologist predicting the weather.


...he actually played a video of meteorologist Steve Pool predicting the likelihood of a winter wonderland around here.

That’s not to say he didn’t evoke Brittney Spears’ name.


A drinking game for adults: take a sip from your flask every time something non-musical happens, e.g., snow, videos of meteorologists, etc.

Warning: make sure you have a designated driver.


But more about Brittney later.

Wish fulfillment was something of a theme for "Holiday Pops," beginning with a lively visit from St. Nick [...].

Take note: wish AND fulfillment.

Mugging and wisecracking his way through the audience, Santa promised a few of the many children in attendance they would get what they want for Christmas.

First, take a sip from your flask.

Second, “mugging” took me by surprise—I had to look it up—because that’s not the ordinary meaning. Though, it’s still fun to imagine Santa hitting people with his sack, taking their wallets, then calling them names.

Finally, and most importantly, Santa is not fulfilling wishes. He’s setting up possible disappointment, as our temporarily confused author even indicates:

(Note to parents: yikes!)


Kids are central to "Holiday Pops," but the irrepressible Hamlisch has something for everyone.

Kids don’t repress Hamlisch?!

At one point, Hamlisch randomly told a joke about his cardiologist's sneaky plan for averting a lawsuit.


Congratulating the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Boychoir and composer Samuel Jones on their Grammy nomination for "The Shoe Bird" audio book, Hamlisch had some advice.

"If you're up against Britney Spears," he said, "write your concession speech now. But I'm voting for you."

Sip. Sip. Sip.

You know, aside from that minor “wish fulfillment” gaffe, the review was pretty alright. It’s an extraordinary task to make these pops concerts sound...well, anything other than a reason to drink, and heavily.


Gustav said...

Glug. Glug. Glug.

Lisa Hirsch said...

You see why I have taken a vow never to set foot in Benaroya Hall until Gerard Schwarz is GONE GONE GONE.