Splurging on Gershwin

Even when money is tight, we often find room for a splurge. We mentally shuffle around finances in our head, proposing things like “If I pack my lunch for the next week, I can justify buying those shoes.” Or maybe for you it’s something like “If I put off buying that car for six more months, we can take a trip to Hawaii over the holidays.”

Well, I recently splurged. On tickets for a December event at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.  The bonus is that the event has the longest title ever:  Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel – Concerts with Commentary – Gershwin and Friends.

The lack of immediate gratification for this event (it’s not until December!) made the splurge even more challenging. But, I told myself, it’s Gershwin. And how can you deny your piano-playing child Gershwin? The reality is that the unique nature of this event has a high ‘cool factor’ (as we call it in my house) and I want to see it. But externally, I’ll rationalize that it’s a culturally enriching experience for my child.

I’m interested to hear pianist Jeffrey Siegel talk about each composition, and the video display showing the performer’s hands in real time will likely make my low-rent seats feel like first class. Here’s a description of the performance:

Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “the Leonard Bernstein of the keyboard,” pianist Jeffrey Siegel offers witty insight into the lives of the great composers, explaining each composition before performing it in its entirety. Gershwin and Friends features the glorious melodies and jazzy rhythms of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in the composer’s rarely heard solo piano arrangement, Copland’s humorous Cat and the Mouse and Hoe-Down from Rodeo, Bernstein’s touching Anniversaries, The Wall Street Rag by Joplin and more. The performance also includes the Center’s Keyboard in the Sky™ video display, which enables the audience to see the pianist’s hands moving across the keyboard in real time from any seat in the house.

Ticket prices range from $29 to $39 each, with discounted prices when purchasing four or more events. Check out their calendar for additional performances this season. There are quite a few artists who tempted me to buy tickets, but I just haven’t worked out rationalizations for all of them yet.

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