I don’t want to sound ridiculous, but I probably will anyway. The thing is, I was underwhelmed. Hear me out. I loved the projections on the floor. It was super cool to watch the “ice” breaking apart, and to see the fleet of ships sailing across the choppy sea. There’s no question that the technology involved in making that show happen is awe inspiring and cutting edge. I get it. But something was missing for me.
I like to imagine that I’ve been exposed to the fine arts more than the typical American. Surely not as much as someone who actually is involved with theater or dance or music or art, but more than the average guy or gal on the street. I’ve been to art galleries in Athens, New York, and Florence. I’ve been to the ballet in London and the theater there as well. I’ve visited museums of all types from San Francisco to Washington; Brussels to Tel Aviv. I’ve been to shows on and off Broadway, and attend plays and concerts regularly. Heck, I even attended the New York Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center when I still had baby teeth. More than once.
I don’t tell you all this to make you think I’m a snob. I am not. I listen to pop and rock music on the car radio. Katy Perry and Ke$ha make me smile and sing along (badly). I love watching Mike and Molly and Big Bang Theory. I’m not high brow. Maybe that’s why the opening ceremonies left me a little cold.
I appreciated the preparation and artistry that went into the performance, but it lacked energy. I kept waiting, but it never quite got there. I was waiting for the part when the crowd would dance along and everyone in the building would be one big happy family, but nope, I didn’t see it or feel it.
I get that Russia has a grim history. I get that the Soviet regime was oppressive and that life in Russia, under the Soviets or not, is difficult. I get that they are geographically isolated from the rest of the world, and that they do things their own way. Points conceded. But don’t they ever like to have fun? The opening ceremonies didn’t give any hints that they might.
The dancing was lovely, the red industrial machine was interesting and thought-provoking, and the time and effort that went into the show was commendable. I will grant you all of these. But honestly, I kept hoping the Spice Girls would show up and save the show.