A Saturday Night Full of Music In Columbus

Picnic with the Pops at Columbus Commons(Photo: Randall L. Schieber)
Picnic with the Pops at Columbus Commons(Photo: Randall L. Schieber)

Two weeks ago I manned the Classical 101 table at Picnic with the Pops in its new digs, Columbus Commons. I had been unimpressed by the move from the lush(er) Chemical Abstracts Lawn, but nobody asked my opinion pre-move.

The attraction that night was of course, the Columbus Symphony itself, along with the rock band Kansas. I thought we were long past naming bands after states or even cities: Chicago, Boston, what’s next? Oregon? South Dakota? But Kansas (the band) is of course a relic of an earlier time, just like the present writer.

I wondered two things. First, if there would be a crowd and second, would I roast under the sun.

Roast, no. The good souls at the Columbus Symphony set me up near one of the very few shade trees and right next to the Graeter’s booth. And wouldn’t you know it, the two Graeter’s guys were dudes looking to score (in this crowd?). Out of boredom they kept feeding me raspberry chocolate chip. God bless them.

The crowd? Packed. Picnickers down to Town Street and all about the place. The orchestra played well and it was good to see Albert-George Schram again. The crowd looked happy and engaged. Everyone seemed glad to be there, and-as they say at the wakes Up Home in Boston, a good time was had by all.

I left before Kansas. I remember John Lennon being busted at Heathrow airport. I need another band after that?

I then headed to Schiller Park to see Actor’s Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

This has been a very popular series as long as I’ve been in Columbus but this was my first visit. That a dear friend had a starring role was part of the incentive.

There on a small hill in the midst of a beautiful park, was an attractive unit set, and Shakespeare’s wonderful comedy of mistaken identity and gender confusion. The miking was superb.  I caught every word with clarity and no tinny interference. The actors were young, attractive, funny, poignant and had the text down cold. It was wonderful to see this lovely play in such a nice setting, performed so well.

If you missed these two performance, don’t worry there is still more great stuff set for the summer months.

Need I mention that CATCO-Phoenix’s run of Forbidden Broadway is both sold out and extended through July 28?

Former CATCO leader Geoff Nelson has begun a new theater company, A Portable Theatre, that brings the show to you.

And ProMusica is playing outdoor concerts at the Franklin Park Conservatory July 31 and August 7.

Is there time to do it all?

Make time. Be with your neighbors and listen, watch and enjoy some great theater and music in the Capital City. And mind, you that’s just part of what was happening one recent summer Saturday night.

P.S. I’m back at the Classical 101 table at the Picnic with the Pop this Saturday. The Music of Queen. No cracks, please. Come say hello. And Twelfth Night is still up and delighting at Schiller Park.

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