PEORIA, IL -- The Peoria Symphony Orchestra's unusual January 22 Gershwin Matinee was interesting and entertaining. It also filled the Peoria Civic Center Theater, proving that with a little show biz, classical music can fill that venue.
The afternoon began with a one act play, Gershwin's Magic Key, performed to musical background by the orchestra. The play tells how Gershwin became a musician and composed his iconic pieces, including Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris.
After an intermission, the orchestra then played both pieces, which sounded fine with the full rich sounds of the orchestra.
The show biz included a costume contest for kids and adults whose roaring 20s costumes were fun, and blue glow sticks passed out to the audience.
The event was billed as "a family friendly celebration of the life of George Gershwin." It was a long two-plus hours for young kids, and should more likely have been marketed to older children and adults. Nevertheless the kids behaved, and the adults gave the event a standing ovation.
It was a pleasant afternoon, and a nice break from obsessing over the awful Trump, now in the White House. Wonder what kind of music he will showcase, if any?
-- Elaine Hopkins