Darren is a big Randy Newman fan, so when we got a glossy brochure last spring from the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra advertising the fall season, he was excited to see Newman's name on the schedule. "That's what I want for my birthday," he said. I remembered. :)
The concert was tonight, and it was fantastic. Randy Newman, probably best known for his '70s hit "Short People", is hilarious! But he's also a gifted composer and musician. He directed the orchestra as they played parts of his soundtracks from Toy Story, Monsters Inc, The Natural and Avalon. Clips from the movies played overhead while the orchestra played below.
For the second half, Newman sat at the piano and sang some of his biggest hits: Short People, Sail Away, Birmingham, Dixie Flyer, Great Nations of Europe, Political Science, You've Got A Friend in Me, Love to See You Smile...
When he started singing Louisiana 1927, I started crying. I'd heard it on CNN or something last week, with photos of Katrina destruction. It broke my heart then, and it broke again tonight. And it was so fitting, because as clouds from the westernmost bands of Hurricane Rita shadow the angels of Bass Hall, the easternmost bands are once again bringing floods to the people of Louisiana.
After the concert, we stopped in at Barnes and Noble for dessert and a CD of Verdi's Requiem. It's being performed at Bass Hall tomorrow night, Darren's actual birthday. If we were rich, we'd have taken in BOTH events. But we ain't. So the CD will have to do.
I love you, Darren! Happy, happy birthday.