"And what planet are you living on?"
It's what you might've asked a major area performing arts organization like the Colorado Symphony if the orchestra hadn't acknowledged the Super Bowl at Sunday afternoon’s matinee performance. Happily, I never had a chance to pose that question.
The orchestra had moved its matinee from 2:30 p.m. to noon, acknowledging that many -- including musicians, stagehands and support staff at Boettcher Concert Hall -- had a big interest in the big game. I'm sure this was no small feat, considering the number of people involved.
Then the Colorado Symphony took 50 percent off ticket prices for audience members who came dressed in team colors.
Call it boosterism. Call it a concession to the community. I call it super smart.
While many of you were putting up those final festive touches at your house and stocking the chips and beer, I donned Broncos colors and went to the concert to hear the symphony play Britten, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak.
I saw a lot of kids, a lot of orange and blue and a lot of enthusiasm from the small crowd there. "Don’t worry, we'll get home in time for the game."
Kudos to resident conductor Scott O'Neil and guest conductor Peter Oundjian for having fun with Broncos pride. O'Neil appeared for a few pre-concert announcements sporting Peyton Manning’s No. 18 jersey. Oundjian pointed out a bright orange hem peeking out from under his black tunic when he entered. During final bows, he took it off to reveal a fluorescent orange shirt festooned with "PFM" on the front.
And how about the musicians themselves? They all sported the same orange flourish (it looked like a boutonniere) pinned to their suits and blouses. Even guest violinist Chee-Yun got swept up in the fun. She wore a beautiful white strapless dress, with the same orange flourish in her hair.
Applause for the Colorado Symphony for being so tied into the community, for showing civic pride, for having fun with Broncos pride, and for showing that orchestras don't exist in some rarified elitist atmosphere with no reference to the outside world.
It's one of the reasons why I stood up to give the Colorado Symphony an ovation. Oh yes, and the playing was very fine too -- solid, nuanced, exciting.
By all means, support the Broncos even though Manning and company didn't bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy. But don't forget Denver still has a winning team which went all out for the community at Boettcher Concert Hall on Sunday afternoon.