December 20, 2006

The Grinch Gap

Last year, the church choir that Melissa and I sing in had a "Winter Festival for the Arts", where we sang and had supper provided for patrons, in a fundraiser for our music library. The director, "Carla-La-La-LAAAA", worked with me on a solo of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" that turned out to be a big hit with the audience.

This year, the choir booked ourselves a Christmas performance gig for a supper club at the Ravinia Hotel run by Carla's in-laws. We had a few new tunes, but I was still part of the program with "Mr. Grinch". But I had a small concern: This was a rather...geriatric crowd. Meaning no one under 65. Some were probably pushing 90, if not actively digging their grave that night. "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" didn't come out until the mid-50's. Would these people even KNOW the Grinch? Most of them probably had stories about "The Great War", and were in the working world before some children's book writer named Dr. Seuss came along.

The program was written, however, so we had to go along with it. So I gave the intro that I had written:

"Good evening. I'll now be performing for you a traditional Christmas aria from Franz Schubert entitled "Du ist unt UberMensch, Herr Grunen". However, because most people here don't actually SPEAK German... including me... We will be using the English translation, which you may find more recognizable."

About five people were laughing, the others were quite perplexed, and probably had never heard it before. So needless to say, when our little schtick of choir members acting as the Grinch's Minions, "stealing" things from the audience got going, some people were not amused. When one of our ladies took a fur from some old lady in an emerald green dress, she clutched her pearls in shock and said something to her husband. Most likely it contained the words "Whipper-Snapper" or possibly "vagabonds".

Apart from that solo, we were well-received, and asked back next year. But I think I'll suggest that we leave the Grinch off the playlist next time.

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