After bringing my pet Congo African Grey Parrot, Aziza, to the pet store in Walpole, MA, where I'd purchased her 8 years ago this past April, when she was just a 2-month old baby, to board her for the weekend, on the day before the concert, I got myself ready for the trip. Saturday morning, although kind of warm and humid, was a nice, sunny day, and perfect for driving out to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts for the West Side Story/Boston Symphony Orchestra concert.
Driving out of the city and and west on the Massachusetts Turnpike, I encountered very pretty, green and lush scenery that seemed to open up like a panorama the whole way. This is a perfect time of year to really appreciate that. Although there was a slow-down of traffic in the general vicinity of the exit to Route I-84, where many, many people get off of the Massachusetts Turnpike in order to get to NY, NJ, and CT., it eventually petered out after I passed that particular stretch of the Massachusetts Turnpike.
After about a 3-hour drive due to delays resulting from road work, and from the extreme slow-down in the vicinity of Sturbridge, MA and Route I-84, I arrived at the Courtyard by the Marriott hotel, checked in, and explored and rested for a bit. It was a rather swanky place, and on the expensive side, but since it was reasonably close to Tanglewood, I was willing to overlook the expensive price for that night.
I bought my picnic supper that I'd ordered online afew months before, had a leisure dinner, and entered the Youssivitsky shed, where I had my seat, which was near the center front of the shed. What a great view I had! I was able to see the movie West Side Story in all its form, glory and color, and was able to get a good view of and hear the Boston Symphony clearly, as they played a wonderful live rendition of the musical score to the film version of West Side Story that was fuller, more intense and explosive, punchier, and more "in-one's-face" than the regular musical score. Being closer to the front of the shed, and more in the center enabled me to view the haunting beauty, exuberance, sadness, anger, violence, death, and hints of a possible intergroup reconciliation of the film West Side Story, and to have a full view of the orchestra, its people, and the conductor, at the same time. It was a wonderful evening, and well worth the scenic drive out there and back east and directly to my family's house in Brookline, MA, for a huge birthday party/brunch for my younger sister, which had begun during the mid to late morning and lasted until well after dark. I then drove home. It had been a wonderful weekend, overall.
Since West Side Story is my all time favorite movie, hands down, when it's not playing here in the Boston area, and have a itch for seeing it, I will go pretty much anywhere within driving distance just to see it on a great, big wide movie screen. Every time I see this movie, I always notice something in or about it that I didn't notice in the previous viewing of it. In this particular viewing, I noticed a bunch of young kids that were sitting on the steps of the no-longer-existing rectory of the part of NYC that West Side Story was filmed in, plus a bunch of other people in the background during the Dance at the Gym scene that I didn't notice before, either.
The fact that, unlike five years ago at this time, when my other car had broken down on the Mass. Turnpike on the way to the same concert, thus putting me in a rather messy and expensive situation, that this time I'd gotten to Tanglewood and back without a hitch, and that I'd stayed in a really neat place overnight, and spent Sunday with my family celebrating my sister's birthday, also helped make this weekend the great, unforgettable weekend that it was.
Having made a donation back in January to the Friends of Tanglewood, thus enabling me to purchase my ticket earlier than I normally would've been able to, the fact that I'd gone over to Boston Symphony Hall, selected my seat in the Youssivitsky shed with the help of the young man at the box office, and booked my hotel reservation back in mid-January of this year all helped me to ensure that I'd have a wonderful weekend. The pretty, lush summertime scenery on the drive out there and back also helped make everything worthwhile, as well.