I was first notified by my bank about an upcoming performance of Star Wars: A New Hope by the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall months in advance. I reached out to Cameron about it and because it was months out and he had a vacation planned around the time, we were not confident enough to buy tickets. Months later, a mutual friend and friend of the show, Colin, reached out about the show, suggesting we all go together. We all really wanted to, but weeks went by before we finally decided that we were in fact going and bought the tickets.
I am always a little stressed about finding parking in downtown Salt Lake City. There are a ton of lots and street parking, but for whatever reason there is an added layer of stress that weighs on me. So I wasn’t looking forward to driving, but because Cameron had to travel 30 minutes to meet up at Colin’s house, I figured it was only fair for me to be the designated driver to the venue. When I arrived at Colin’s home, I was very surprised that Cameron was dressed up as Willrow Hood, the ice cream man from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
I have to admit, though it would have been offensive and tasteless, that I was a little bummed he didn’t go in full blackface, but I understood his decision. Colin and I were dressed in button down shirts and slacks, and my wife Shauna was stunning in her black cocktail dress. All in all we were a group of handsome men and woman that drew the gaze of everyone we passed.
As soon as we arrived at Abravanel Hall, we noted multiple food trucks outside, and some Star Wars costumers taking photos inside. Any regular watcher of this show should know that I HAD to be next to Darth Vader in the photo, and even though I am a grown man who knows it’s just another grown man inside the suit and not Anakin Skywalker, I couldn’t help my giddiness.
As we wandered around the hall before the concert began, we were amazed at just how many fans there was attending with us that were also dressed up. I saw everything from random Jedi, to the sequal-era Han and Leia. It really was a magical way to begin what was to be a truly amazing experience.
When the show was about to begin, we all filed into the arena, found our seats and were presented with a way of viewing Star Wars I had never considered before, with a live full orchestra, and it was spectacular!
The Utah Symphony is presenting Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in September this year, and you know we are going to be there again! Perhaps I will capture some footage from that show. If you ever get an opportunity to watch a Star Wars film with a live orchestra, DO NOT PASS IT UP! It is completely worth it and audience participation with cheers, applause and laughter was encouraged by the conductor.
Thank you Colin and Cameron for helping make such a memorable evening and I can’t wait to do it all again!