The Koncert for Karine, Starring Champagne

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Like most bad ideas conceived by the husband and his official "bad idea partner", our fearless and always enthusiastic violin-playing friend, I thought "Koncert for Karine" was a drunken moment in time, that would never come to fruition. But, the photos in this post prove otherwise. This bad idea was not only brought to life, but executed with great success. By the end of the performance, I was clapping and cheering with the rest of the tipsy audience.

As I have mentioned here before, I am not a classical music enthusiast. I like classical music just fine when it's raining, when I'm sleepy, when it's in the background and I don't have a choice. But apparently, this is not enough for my friends. They want me to like their classical music. They want me to enjoy the after-dinner jam sessions they like to put on. And in an effort to win me over, they decided to throw a concert in my honor, a concert full of classical pieces and a few theatrical components. I'm not sure if you have friends who adore you so much that they want to orchestrate concerts for you, if you'd like such friends, maybe we can trade?

Well, months went by, nothing happened, and I thought I was safe. But then practice began, additional performers were recruited, and a program began to take shape. After a short delay, a date was finally set, guests invited, programs printed, and lots of champagne purchased.

The husband and friends took care of the details, I showed up to the event and did nothing, like a true guest. My only goal was to capture the event on camera. And I only somewhat succeeded. Apparently, poor lighting and eight glasses of champagne result in...? Hundreds of blurry photos! Luckily, I managed to steady my hands enough to snap a handful of decent shots and document this enchanting night. Because there was no doubt about it, despite my protests, despite the ridiculousness of it all, this turned out to be a truly magical concert.

Even though I'm not convinced I like classical music anymore than I did before the concert, one thing is certain, I had a good time, and I might have even developed a greater appreciation my crazy friends. Maybe.

Plans for Kristmas for Karine are already in production.
My contribution to the program was the performer bios. Based on real facts, these short paragraphs really summed up the essense of each individual. One of our friends went around and asked the talent for their autographs.
There was champagne.
And more champagne.
And even more champagne.
The cool and collected (aka buzzed) performers before the show. They look so uninterested, you'd think they put on concerts every weekend.
Mr. Accordion stole the show with "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star".
The ladies playing something French.
The program ended with "Puff the Magic Dragon" performed so well, the crown joined in on the singing. See below for original lyrics to this favorite classic.
What's the best way to enjoy music? Nap through it.
And the long day ended with a dance party.

My first time hearing "Puff the Magic Dragon" was the day-of the concert, when the husband was practicing it in his room. I guess you miss out on a lot when you grow up in Turkmenistan. We sang songs about Lenin, but not dragons. You can see the original lyrics as written by Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow here. However, what made this performance so memorable was that our friend, the very talented writer, Mr. Adam Shonkoff, wrote additional verses, just for me. You can judge for yourself, but I'm pretty sure Adam should be writing rhymes for rap stars.  

Karine the magic person lived in Altadena
She liked to cook and drink fine wine, she wanted to be a ballerina
She loved all kinds of music, except the classical style
Those boring horns and violins never made her smile

Her friends they were so downcast, Karine could love no tune
So they put on a special koncert, as brave as Daniel Boone
But smiles still proved elusive, Karine thought the music stunk
But in the end the magic came, because everyone was drunk

Now everyone together!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.