Saturday, September 8, 2018

A Fantastic Evening with Jeff Daniels at Rams Head on Stage


A few years ago, I fell for a show called Newsroom. It was written by Aaron Sorkin, and it filled the fast-talking, progressive, idealistic hole that West Wing left when it was cancelled. Whereas the West Wing centered around the lovely people that inhabited the lovely Bartlett White House, Newsroom followed the news-makers that inhabited a cable news network all led by the less than likable Will McAvoy.

While McAvoy was the Dan Rather of the fictional news world, he wasn't anyone's favorite boss. But of course, once his writers got to know him, they stood behind him fully just like Bartlett's staff had in the West Wing. From the first lines of Will McAvoy's speech in the pilot - where he dispelled the myth that America wasn't the greatest country in the world anymore - I was completely in awe of this character and the amazing actor that was portraying him. 

Later in the series, we learned that Will McAvoy played the guitar and sang, thanks to the singing chops of Jeff Daniels. After hearing me gush about his talent, the bestie bought me tickets to see him in concert with his son for Christmas that year. And I fell for him even more. He's everything you want him to be - funny, smart, kind and an amazing songwriter and singer. 

Luckily, he heads this way fairly often, so I bought tickets again this year. This time I shared the fun with my parents, who shared my love of Will McAvoy. I may very well have been the youngest attendee in the audience, but I don't care. He's fantastic! For this tour, he was again accompanied by his son Ben's band. He also sang with his daughter-in-law while his wife watched his new granddaughter. His shows are a bit of a family affair which is so sweet to see.

He sings most of his own songs, sort of a cross between blues and bluegrass. One of my faves has the following line which pretty my encompasses my whole theory on life: "...by being kind to others, you run the risk of them being kind to you..." Such a beautiful line! After a good 90 minutes of songs, banter and just a few outbursts about the ridiculousness of the current political landscape which was met with loads of hooting and hollering in agreement, he encored with a song/story about a family RV trip from hell. 

This story will be my excuse for never investing in an RV. It was terribly funny and terribly him. He spends a great deal of touring when he can, which I just love because like I said, he's wonderfully talented and a natural storyteller. However, he also takes time out of his schedule for Broadway, which also makes me a happy camper. He's gearing up for To Kill A Mockingbird now. So I suppose, I'll just watch him in whatever he plans to do in the future. Anything will be ok with me, as long as he's singing, playing or acting...

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