Call me low class or classical. I’m not high class, anyone who knows me will confirm this. Still, am I low class? A few nights ago I went to downtown Phoenix with Carla for a nice dinner at Blue Hound Kitchen on Jefferson, and then to the ballet at Phoenix Symphony Hall. Yes I wore a nice double breasted jacket, which is a stunner for those who see me regularly. Carla was lovely in a black dress and fur rimmed cape. I was definitely out classed as looks go, but I’m used to that. I’d like to say I attend the ballet regularly, but that would be untrue. The only other one I’ve seen was the Nutcracker this last Christmas. There were two different ballets The Firebird (which I didn’t like) and La Sylphide (which I did). Carla liked both but felt The Firebird was awesome, and based on her much greater experience in such matters give her opinion more weight.

Going to the ballet, symphony, or opera does not denote taste or class to me. It is about what one likes, or in some cases what one can afford. I’ve seen a lot of free music in my day because well, it was free. I’ve always liked New York Broadway things though my selection is not always the critically accepted one. Going back a bit I loved The Lion King, liked Cats, and absolutely hated Miss Saigon. None of this means I have any taste, but I am true and honest about my opinions; and I get to like what I want and be moved by what I choose. No class required. As a movie guy I’d be remiss not to comment on the scene in Pretty Woman where after the performance upon being asked if she enjoyed the opera she replies “Oh, it was so good I almost peed my pants.” Richard Gere suavely settles the stranger down when he says “She said she liked it better than The Pirates of Penzance.”

I don’t need class to go see art. Even if I drink out of a jelly jar it’s what’s inside that counts. As a close my favorite “class” thing is opera, but yes I’m a populist guy as my favorite is Phantom of the Opera. And yet I really liked the Ring of the Nibelung multi-opera by Richard Wagner. It consists of The Rhinegold, The Valkyr, Siegfried, and Gotterdammerung. I wish you all joy in finding what moves you, and listen to your heart not to the words of others. Peace.