We are so lucky that the Moss Center at Virginia Tech is only 15 minutes from The Oaks. When we lived in New Jersey the closest New Jersey venue for music and theater was more than a half hour away, without traffic. Going into NYC for a concert or play was an hour’s drive, sometimes 2 or more when the GW Bridge was backed up. This past spring we received our Moss Center 2018-2019 performance catalogue and I found several performances that I wanted to attend, an evening with Itzhak Perlman being my number one choice. Number two was Evita. Number three was the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops and my number four pick was Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
Season ticket holders always get first crack at shows and the general public get to purchase whatever tickets are left months later. August 7th the box office was scheduled to open at 10 and I was on the phone at 9:45 hoping someone would answer early. As always season ticket holders had already claimed all the seats for the annual Holiday Pops concert but there were a few tickets left for Itzhak Perlman and within minutes it was a sellout. By 9:55 I had a pair of tickets for both Evita and Itzhak Perlman. Score!
On September 30th we arrived at the Moss Center with just 10 minutes to spare. Our seats were 4th row dead center. You can’t get much better than that. The performance started a bit late as people were still getting seated at show time but it was worth the wait. Rohan De Silva, his accompanist, walked out on stage and sat down at a baby grand piano. The theater was so quiet you could, as they say, hear a pin drop. A moment later Mr Perlman came rolling out onto the stage in his motorized wheelchair to more than enthusiast applause. He said not one word and placed his violin under his chin. The audience went silent and the most beautiful sound filled the auditorium. He played Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Major, op. 9, no. 3 by Leclair followed by Sonato for Violin and Piano in A Major by Franck. 40 minutes of glorious music. After intermission he played Suite Italienne for Violin and Piano by Stravinsky and when he was done rolled backstage.
The crowd rose to its feet and the standing ovation went on and on. He came back out and finally spoke telling one funny story after another. He played Hungarian Dance #1, told another story, played some Tchaikovsky and told another story. Then came that special moment we had been waiting for. As he played Schindler’s List both Bernie and I began to cry. My eyes still tear up when I think about it. Such an incredible evening.
Cinderella tickets go on sale January 22 and you can bet I’ll be on the phone that morning by 9:45.