Saturday, May 03, 2003

Tyrannosaurus Blog.

The KinderKonzert at the Coronado Theatre in Rockford on Sunday was reasonably entertaining. Lilly fidgeted some, but perhaps, as she said, that was because she found it hard to see. She did seem to enjoy the fact that there were a lot of violins on stage, including some “really big ones,” i.e., cellos and bass.

Sometimes children’s shows are just that, for children, and this one involved abbreviated pieces of classical music — a bit of Saint-Saens, a stretch of Pachelbel — that were supposed to evoke time travel back to the age of Tyrannosaurus Sue, which is what the Field Museum in Chicago calls its tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Then the orchestra played “Tyrannosaurus Sue, A Cretaceous Concerto,” by composer Bruce Adolphe, which I understand was commissioned for the unveiling of that particular fossil at the Field Museum.

Adolphe’s piece was played in conjunction with narration by a local palaeontologist (he may be the only one in Rockford), plus cartoon illustrations of the life and times of the eponymous reptile. Not especially sophisticated illustrations, but I think the konzert went over well with the kinder.

I was never a big palaeo-enthusiast, myself, though my brother Jim was and is. Still, I’ve seen a few interesting dinosaur exhibits, including Sue. There are some marvelous skeletons at the New York Museum of National History that I liked, and closer to where many dinosaurs are unearthed, I got to see the fine collection at the Natural History Museum in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Funny thing, while the bones were impressive enough in Mongolia, what I really remember was the fact that visitors to the museum were required to pay a fee to take photos of the exhibits, but no one bothered to enforce the prohibition against taking pictures without paying. The big dinosaurs were in a big room that reminded me of a high school gym built in the ’20s, and no guard or anyone else was there to stop members of our group from taking free snapshots.


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