How was your experience?
First impressions set the tone, so to start with: How bleepin' DARE they charge $15.00 for parking? Sure, we could have cruised the streets and schlepped our picnic a mile or two to the racetrack, but still . . . To compound the outrage, another pop concert offered locally at the same time had free parking in the mall lot and a free shuttle. We will NEVER do this again as long as the Cal Phil shakes down its patrons in this manner . . . Also, our table was further from the stage than I remember the B level being when they held their concerts at the Arboretum, and the food available on site was nothing like the "taste of Arcadia" of days gone by. Best to bring your own. However, our table mates were simpaticos and the wine made things bearable. For a third-string orchestra, the Cal Phil was in fine form for the two Gershwin pieces, I thought. The second half served up the usual Broadway chestnuts, with two veteran vocalists. The baritone found his bearings after a slow start, and the audience responded; the soprano kept smiling, although she wasn't (I hope) in her best voice. I'd give a B to the music and a weak C for the whole experience. And I missed the peacocks. --Alan Pierpoint