Reporting back from the Goat Rodeo!

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 25JAN08 - Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist...
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I tend not to operate in all-or-nothing mode. When I want to do something and come up against a roadblock, I can usually find a way around it; I simply have to re-imagine the goal line a little bit. So…

There was a long stretch of time when it was possible for me to access live theater and musical performances with regularity. My schedule was flexible and I could “shop” for bargains. I found that by going on odd nights, or in preview periods, I could comfortably afford season tickets to favored venues, or spend time collaborating with like-minded, interested friends cutting a wide swath across the whole of Southern California pursuing even lesser known venues. We could always find quality theater performances at bargain prices. And then it seems life got really busy!

Perhaps you recall that I expressed my admiration for cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Since I’m not able to actively pursue my goal to one day meet him, AND I don’t currently have ready access to a live concert performance, I tweaked my expectations and took advantage of a reasonable interim substitution.  Last evening my friend Linda and I trotted off to our local movie theater and thoroughly enjoyed The Goat Rodeo Sessions LIVE featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile. This exclusive event was broadcast LIVE from Boston’s House of Blues to hundreds of theaters across the country, with the four string virtuosos performing their chart topping “Goat Rodeo.”  (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, my previous post explains the story behind a goat rodeo here).

Prior to last evening’s performance countdown, the musicians shared about the unique circumstances that originally brought them together, crossing musical genres and combining experience to “just play music.” Some music! Each artist is indeed exceptional: Ma, world-renowned cellist, Duncan, legendary Bluegrass fiddler, Meyer, acclaimed bassist, and Thile—well, what he brings to the mandolin is nothing short of amazing.

At the end of a long day I’m often disinclined to go out on a school night! But what a fun evening it turned out to be and now we’re energized to follow the concert circuit from the ease and comfort of our local movie house! I’ve already got my eye on Sunday, March 18th,  when LA Phil Live will present musical director Gustavo Dudamel (Venezuelan-born musical sensation and conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic) with Herbie Hancock (American jazz pianist, among other musical descriptions!) in Celebrate Gershwin, pre-recorded from the LA Phil’s 2011-12 season Opening Night Concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I was priced right out of that gala event! But it looks like I can have another crack at it!

And it isn’t just about the music! Billed as a first-of-its kind cinema event for one night only—LEONARDO LIVE is a cinematic tour of the sold-out National Gallery (UK) exhibition, “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan,” created expressly for a movie theater audience.

I’m not suggesting that filmed concerts and theater productions are a substitute for being in a Live audience, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. And I think it’s pretty great that a wide variety of artists—from Andrew Lloyd Webber to The Metropolitan Opera–are expanding to include filmed performances with the screen and sound amenities of a movie theater, making the experience accessible to a broader audience.  Families can more affordably attend together, not priced out by exorbitant ticket prices, and individuals with mobility concerns are easily accommodated.

Surely there is something in the calendar line-up that you would enjoy and I hope I may have enticed you to do some web-searching (  to see what you might find to suit your own creative and artistic tastes. If you do not have access to one of these theater listings near you, I would encourage you to make persistent inquiries. With enough interest, I would imagine future “off-site” theater and concert performances might begin popping up!

Don’t let the sluggish economy or geographical limitations keep you home! Use a little initiative and find something interesting to do! And when you do, please share it with the rest of us. I’m eager to spread the word!

Smiling and humming, Debra

Related article:  Music Review: Goat Rodeo Cinecast –

19 thoughts on “Reporting back from the Goat Rodeo!

  1. Your evening with Yo-Yo Ma sounds delightful. I look forward to hearing about it (with or without humming). I noted the March 18th date to check out the next event you’re going to view. I’ve wanted to see Dudamel for sometime and with Hancock, what a combo! Thank you for being on the lookout and blazing the trail of research to find some unique options for live theatre or musical performance “shows”.
    ~ Ellen

  2. What an uplifting post, Debra. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are so right. There are alternatives that can bring just as much joy with a little research and ingenuity. I don’t even know if there is this kind of access here, but, with a market as large as Chicago is, I at least should try to find out.

    Isn’t it fun to still be able to spread our wings, fly, and find new adventures?

    1. I am almost certain there would be multiple outlets in your area, Penny, so if you find something good, be sure to tell me! I am very eager to spread the word. We need to have more cultural offerings that encourage attendance, rather than be so cost prohbitive that they are rare…especially for families. By the way, I was so sorry to hear that Punxsatawney Phil delivered some unwelcome news this morning. Let’s hope he got it wrong! 🙂 Debra

  3. Thank you, Debra, for this information. I’d no idea that these presentations were “out there.” Even during the best of times, not everyone can afford to attend a live concert. These performances are a real find. 🙂

    1. I agree with you, John. It is just good to find out there are some reasonable options, and I hope you’ll have a chance to check out the website and see if there is something in your area you’d enjoy! If you do, I hope you’ll tell me! Debra

  4. Charleston, SC (where I live) is too small to attract events like this on a regular basis. What I wouldn’t give to live in a bigger city with more culture. (I cannot say that on my blog. 🙂 ) This event had to be a treat for you, Debra. I think it’s great that big artists are making their work more widely experiential by releasing it this way.

    1. I have to tell you, Andra, that although I can understand what you’re saying about ready access to certain arts and entertainment in larger city-centers, you live in a very beautiful part of our country that I just adore! And the truth is that although there are so many things at my fingertips, the jokes and rants you may hear about our congestion and traffic gridlock are so serious a factor that we don’t take full advantage either. It was a very fun event/viewing, and maybe in the future they will broaden availability. To me it sounds like a great thing to bring to smaller cities, so what’s the hold up? 🙂 Debra

  5. Dear Debra,
    Thank you for sharing this information with us. It’s all new to me. I’m not sure if the Kansas City metropolitan area is large enough for these movie theater showings, but I’m going to try and find out.


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the story of my night out, Dee. I would imagine that it’s very likely you’ll find some theaters near you. I hope so! And it’s all new to me, too. I guess that’s why I can’t stop talking about it. I’m so surprised as well as inspired! Hope you can find something similar. Debra

  6. I think this is a great idea when time or money prevents one from experience the “real” thing. Earlier I wasn’t much of a live-concert aficionado. For me the music was the important part, and I had my records and later on CDs. But at some point I figured out why some of my friends were raving about this or that concert, and I myself eventually figured it out and started to enjoy going to concerts. But you are right, it’s not easy to allocate both money and time for more than a couple of concerts a year, and this sounds like a great way to get some of the feeling from a live concert. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I really know how you feel about the option of a live concert when sometimes listening to quality CDs and enjoying from home can be most satisfying. I have often felt the same, and I have had a mixed experience with some live attractions. I’ve sat through concerts with someone in my vicinity who decides to hum or sing-a-long–or worse yet, EAT, while I’m trying to enjoy the music. But sometimes it is fun to be in a good crowd with like-minded people. It’s a mixed bag, Otto, isn’t it? This was a good in-between for me! Debra

    1. I think you’re right, Karen. Because it was a Tuesday evening I was first surprised to see a few people enter with their middle-school aged children. But then it hit me that this was a great opportunity for exposure to a strong musical experience. I suppose I just get excited at the option! Debra

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