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*The Force Awakens,* NY Phil, 10/8/17

I saw *Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens* at the NY Philharmonic on 10/8/17. This was the final screening of the *Star Wars* series. It's the most recent movie, from 2015, and it features Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill 35 years older than in the first movies. That gives it an extra punch of impact, at least for me.

Of course they had photo ops in the lobby before the show and during intermission.

I enjoyed the movie when I saw it in the theater, but I had serious reservations. Rey was too intense and twitchy, and Finn was too goofy. Those things didn't bother me this time, at least not as much. And I have to say, the excitement of seeing the movie was amped up quite a lot by hearing the NY Philharmonic play the score. I'm very excited for *Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi,* which comes out in December. I hope the NY Phil will do that one sometime in the future - - maybe they'll wait for the final episode, then maybe they'll do all NINE!

I stayed for almost the entire bows, which is unusual for me, I usually sprint out of the theater as soon as the show is over, just because it gets me home twenty minutes earlier. But in this case, I could sleep in the next day, and it seemed like a way of honoring the conductor and the orchestra for the whole series.

I had a moment, standing there, applauding. Every once in a while it hits me: I LIVE IN NEW YORK. I've lived here for fifteen years, so you think it would have really sunk in by now, but after thirty-five years of living in Wisconsin, it's kind of a lot to take in. Let me give you an overview of that week and the following week:

Weds 10/4: *Return of the Jedi,* NY Phil

Thurs 10/5: *Crossing,* BAM

Fri 10/6: *Répons,* Armory

Sat 10/7: *The Force Awakens,* NY Phil

Weds 10/11: *Norma,* Met Opera

Thurs 10/12: *Richard III,* BAM

Fri 10/13: *La grenouille avait raison,* BAM

Sat 10/4: *Measure For Measure,* Public Theater

It's kind of overpowering, right? This is why I live in New York.

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