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A Dyke About Town: Cris Williamson born again, and other conundrums
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A Dyke About Town: Cris Williamson born again, and other conundrums

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Cris Williamson
When Cuteness contacted her friend Lucky to ask for childcare so she could go to the Cris Williamson concert, Cuteness was surprised to find out Lucky had just been listening to the songwriter's first album, The Changer and the Changed, in her car. The reason for that was that Lucky had met Cris at an airport where Cris, Lucky and Lucky's rowing team had been waiting for a plane. When Lucky figured out who Cris was, she told Cris that album had gotten her through her first year of graduate school. Mercy and Cuteness hadn't necessarily expected Lucky to know who Williamson was, because she is straight. It turned out her two roommates in grad school were just in the process of coming out.

Mercy noticed a couple more errors in the service at the Triple Door, such as not bringing a spoon for the banana split. Cuteness thinks the restaurant needs to review with waiters what is included in the silverware bundle, so they'll know there isn't a spoon there. On the other hand, Mercy had forgotten to bring her pen and paper, and had to borrow a pen from the server, so she is painfully aware that everyone makes mistakes.

Williamson opened with "One of the Light," the kind of original of hers Mercy and Cuteness admire. "The Gift of the Magi," and "Snowbound," also in that category followed nicely. Mercy was enjoying Cris' big voice and the skilled instrumentals of Barbara Higbie on fiddle, and Jen Todd on guitar. Then she and Cuteness started to realize every song that night was turning out to be a Christmas one, including some very traditional ones. They looked more closely at the announcement of the show, and saw it was hailed as a holiday-themed one. Usually "Holiday" means "Christmas," but in those cases, audiences expect at least one or two Hanukkah songs, or something acknowledging that other religions exist. Cris did include one of these, as her encore, "Om, Shalom," which had both references to Hanukkah and to Kwanzaa. But it was belated, and made Mercy and Cuteness feel Cris had adopted Christian blindness to other faiths, which puzzled them, and made them wonder whether Williamson has the zeal of a new convert. It also made them glad they hadn't invited their friend Lucky, since she is Jewish.

Mercy took a look at Cris' website and noticed she has a quote from the title song of her new album Ashes posted prominently there, "Opportunity came knocking, it came disguised as loss. One hand held just ashes and one hand held a cross." Mercy understood Cris had been devastated by the loss of her 20-year relationship, but was surprised that it could cause such a big change in the singer.

High points of the concert were Julie Wolf and Barbara Higbie doing a vocal duet, while Julie played piano, on the show tune "Sisters," Cris' interpretation of the Dan Fogelberg song, "Same Auld Lang Syne," Nancy Rumble's solos on oboe or ocarina, and any time Higbie's fiddle could be heard.

An Education
Mercy and Cuteness really enjoyed Lone Scherfling's new movie, An Education. They had to agree that newcomer Carey Mulligan shone in the role of a high school student who falls in love with an older man (also well portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard). Dominic Cooper and Rosamund Pike were convincing as her puzzled parents. Emma Thompson knocked Mercy and Cuteness out in the role of the headmistress. Olivia Williams was convincing as Miss Stubbs. The director nailed all the details of 1960s London.

Rainbow City Band
Mercy and her friend Jousts are looking forward to seeing the Rainbow City Band (RCB) December 20 at the Broadway Performance Hall for A Child's Holiday, in what is advertised as a magical, musical journey back to childhood, and those days when the Menorah shone brightly in the window, and those Christmas presents were under the tree just begging to be unwrapped. The celebration will feature such classics as "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," and music from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The fantastic Purple Passion Swing Band will also make toes tap with their high-energy take on the holidays. Get ready to ride in Santa's sleigh as they perform "Hot Chocolate" from big-screen hit The Polar Express. It's an afternoon of music, fun, and family, as they kick off the holidays, Rainbow City Band style. Mercy is still excited that members of the RCB were invited to march at Obama's inauguration. You can get tickets at http://rainbowcityband.com.

Coming Up
Also exciting and coming up is HD Broadcast of Met Les Contes d'Hoffman. Mercy is going to sit in on a rehearsal and preview Seattle Women's Chorus in her next column. She has heard their holiday concert will deliver something for everyone. Check out their website, in the mean time, at www.flyinghouse.org/swc.

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