Hey Kids! I have a treat for you today! I’m featuring a special guest post by fellow scrapper Corylea! She had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Nimoy perform with the Boston Pops on May 23rd! Great Job Cory! (you lucky duck!) Thanks so much, and you’re welcome to contribute here anytime! So nice to see Mr. Nimoy connecting with his roots. I’m sure our readers here will enjoy this as much as I did!
Be sure to check the photos I found of the event at the bottom of this post! I wonder if this was recorded? PBS used to feature Boston Pops Concerts. I hope it’s available at some point!
May 24th, 2014
I saw Leonard Nimoy at the Boston Pops Friday Night!
My husband and I saw Leonard Nimoy at “Out of This World” with the Boston Pops. The general theme was “music inspired by outer space,” and it included both classical pieces, like three of the movements from Holst’s The Planets (Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter), and music from TV and movies, including the themes from Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T.
We had great seats; we were in the third row, maybe 25 feet from Mr. Nimoy. The seating at Pops concerts is cabaret-style, so we were sitting around a small table with a few other people. Since we got there early, we took the seats that were on the stage side of the table, putting us essentially an entire row closer than the latecomers. So, those of you going to the Saturday performance, get there early!
Mr. Nimoy was dressed in the jacket and trousers of a tuxedo, but instead of the usual ruffled shirt and bow tie, he was wearing a white wrap shirt and no tie. When you’re 83 and an icon, you don’t have to wear uncomfortable shirts or annoying ties. 🙂
He looked good. Those airport photos of Mr. Nimoy in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube alarmed all of us, but he didn’t cough or clear his throat at all, and he walked on and off the stage at a pace that I hope I can move at when I’m 83, so his COPD didn’t seem to be bothering him much. He sat quietly in his chair at the front of the stage whenever he wasn’t speaking, occasionally bobbing his head in time with the music but not fidgeting at all, sitting with his hands folded in his lap. Every once in awhile, he would smile slightly or raise an eyebrow, and I wondered what he was thinking as he listened to the music.
Mr. Nimoy started off the night by mentioning that Boston was his hometown and demonstrating a Boston accent for us, using he phrase “He’s Spock from Star Trek.” Then he told the story — familiar to everyone who’s read his autobiographies — about how his father didn’t want him to be an actor and suggested that he learn to play the accordion, instead. He said because of this, he was sure that his father would be thrilled that he was making his debut with the Boston Pops. He kept the personal stuff quite short, but he was charming during it.
Mr. Nimoy told us that the stage was like the bridge of the starship that we’d all be riding tonight, as we listened to this music inspired by outer space, and the conductor was the captain. He exchanged a few words with the conductor, Sarah Hicks, calling her “Maestro,” which was pretty cute.
The music started off with the theme from the Star Trek‘s Original Series. Hearing it played by a full orchestra, with Mr. Nimoy sitting right there, I started crying. Admittedly, I’m usually a sap, but this took me by surprise. I’ve heard the Star Trek theme HOW many hundreds of times? But hearing it played by a full orchestra, I was gone by the time they played the first four notes.
Then they played three movements from Holst’s The Planets, complete with what was called a movie but seemed more like a slideshow, of images of the planets. I looked at those images from time to time, but the conductor was really exciting, and Leonard Nimoy was sitting right there. So even though I usually enjoy photographs of Mars and Jupiter, I spent most of my time watching Mr. Nimoy’s face or watching the extremely energetic conductor, who seemed as if she were personally pulling the music out of the orchestra by main force. 🙂
Mr. Nimoy read some prepared text before each piece, talking about the context of the music and also talked a bit to Ms. Hicks. He’s still got it, folks. There were some funny lines, some moving lines, and some informative lines, and Mr. Nimoy did them all beautifully. There were some lines that seemed as if they were far too long for a normal person to say in one breath, but a trained actor who’s played the Enterprise‘s Science Officer laughs at info dump lines. 🙂 Mr. Nimoy was charming and funny, and even if I’d had amnesia and had forgotten that I love him, I think I would have fallen for him all over again.
At one point, Mr. Nimoy told a very abbreviated version of the usual story about how he invented the Vulcan salute, then asked us if we could do it. Hands were raised in the Vulcan salute all over Symphony Hall, and Mr. Nimoy shaded his eyes so as to peer out into the audience and see if we were doing it.
The music was very well done, and the music from Also Sprach Zarasthustra (the theme used in 2001: A Space Odyssey) made our hair stand on end. I’d talk more about the music, but I think my friends mostly want to hear about Mr. Nimoy, so that’s what I’ve talked about. 🙂
The Boston Symphony Orchestra doesn’t permit cameras in Symphony Hall, and my cell phone is a very old for-emergencies-only type, without a camera, so I don’t have any pictures for you. I know that lots of fans hang around the doors of a theatre before or after a performance, hoping to talk to an actor, but I didn’t want to bother Mr. Nimoy. The poor man has been importuned by Star Trek fans everywhere he goes for 47 years now, and he deserves to be left in peace. So sadly, Mr. Nimoy was safe from me. 🙂
Short version: Mr. Nimoy looked in pretty good heath, he was charming and delightful, and he’s still got it. 🙂