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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Andre Rieu

Picture it. Nassau Coliseum, usually home to the NY Islanders, American Idol on Tour, Disney on Ice and that sort of thing. People are wearing dressy casual clothes instead of the usual jeans and hawkers are selling white zinfandel and chardonnay by the glass from a Bud Light tray. Because for one night this sports arena has become a classical music concert hall.

Andre Rieu, a Dutch violinist, performs a lighthearted, joyful and frequently humerous program featuring Strauss waltzes, Puccini arias, Broadway show tunes, and anything else he feels like playing.

We had floor seats, 14 rows back from the stage, a really good view of the entire orchestra.

Which meant that, during "Snow Waltz" we were in the blizzard zone -- tiny pieces of shredded plastic fell from the ceiling as "snow". During the "Skaters Waltz" the brass section and the back up singers pretended to skate -- and to pass a bottle.

The soloist who sang "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" . . . she was magnificent.

At one point people were waltzing in the aisles.

When Rieu says "This is our last piece for the evening," don't believe him. Handel's "Halleluja" was supposed to be the finale, and he played for an additional half an hour after that.

A lovely evening.

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