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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wonderful theater event

Saturday morning my mother and I picked up Rolf & Sharon at their cottage in Åhus and drove to the church in Norra Strö. When we got there, a couple of relatives (Ewa and Roland) from Växjö in Småland were there also. We took a short tour of the cemetery to see the Mattisson family graves. Unfortunately, it was raining very much so we didn't take any pictures. At 11 Tommy arrived with Eleanor, Kurt and Ivan, and we all walked into the church to view the interiors. The church was built around 1150 and is renowned for its beautiful wall paintings from the 1470s. We were guided by a member of the historical society.

At noon we all drove to Färlöv to have lunch at Tommy's place. We were treated to some very delicious salmon, and we had old style applecake for dessert. At 2 p.m. we went to Övarp, Norra Strö to visit the birthplace of Leroy's father Bror Anton Andersson (called Brewer in America). It is now owned by Mats, who thinks it's amazing that his little house attracts so much attention. We spent about an hour there, looking at pictures and talking. Afterwards we went back about a kilometer to the historical society. The ladies of the board had outdone themselves in baking cookies for us - there were eight different kinds! The Andersons also got to see the Leroy Anderson exhibit, which we (luckily) had decided to keep until November. It was a nice day, even though it rained incredible amounts.

Sunday (today) it was time for Rolf & Sharon to move out from the cottage in Åhus, so we picked them up in the morning. After a tour of the upscale part of Åhus, the marina and a nature preserve area, we drove to Nyehusen where my mother lives. We went to the beach and it was rather unusual to see the completely empty beach and the fierce ocean with high winds at this time of year. It's a little early for the fall season, but that's what it seems to be right now. We had lunch at Furuboda, it's a buffet type of restaurant. Very nice fish today. We then went to my mother's place for coffee.

At 3 p.m. we drove to Djurröd, which is a small village south of Kristianstad. The local theater company gave a wonderful performance of Leroy Anderson tunes combined with theater and dance segments. They had engaged part of a Russian orchestra, people from the music school in Kristianstad and locals to perform 25 pieces. They even put together a choir for this, and they sang Sleigh Ride, Forgotten Dreams and Song of Jupiter in a way that was just incredible! They are all amateurs and I am so impressed by their abilities. Singing Sleigh Ride is difficult! The whole thing started with a theater act where the Anderson family emigration was depicted, with Nils and Hanna Andersson and all their seven children (of right ages) on stage. In the first part, Nils told Hanna that he had co-signed a loan and that he now owed the bank a lot of money. Nils suggested to Hanna that they should emigrate in order to earn money and pay the loan, and she agreed. (The story is completely accurate). In the second part all nine of them had packed their luggage and was about to leave Övarp. For me, this was the most memorable segment. Of the Leroy Anderson tunes, I especially remember The Typewriter, which was a theater act with a guy we know who acted as the typist. He did a marvelous performance in a Jerry Lewis style (very funny) and the audience laughed a lot. I also enjoyed A Trumpeter's Lullaby and The Waltzing Cat, in addition to the choir pieces.

I had to catch a train in town, but the Andersons stayed on to get a very Swedish supper; pea soup. I arrived back in Kävlinge at 9 p.m.

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