“A Christmas with Shoji Tabuchi”
Mom got to scratch an item off her bucket list over the weekend. See Shoji Tabuchi. That is something she has wanted to do for a while. He usually sells out when he comes to the Lutcher; in fact, he holds the Lutcher record for sold out shows at six.
She has also been to Branson, Mo. Many times, where Tabuchi regularly performs, but she has never made it to his show.
Well, that changed Saturday when we attended the 15th performance of Tabuchi in Orange. According to the program distributed by the Theater, it has been 19 years since the last time Tabuchi was here. Mom said she remembered when he was here last and it sure didn’t seem like 19 years.
I had never heard of the violinist before, so didn’t know what to expect.
When he first walked out with his jacket lit up and all glittery, the first thing that came to mind was Liberace. Yes, if Liberace was Japanese, lived in Missouri and played a fiddle, his name would be Shoji Tabuchi. He wore the same tuxedo pants throughout the concert, but changed from one glittery jacket to another at least 10 times.
When he came out after intermission in a white jacket and a huge belt buckle with a large S on it, I remarked to my mom it resembled the top half of Elvis’ white jumpsuit.
Doggone if he didn’t start playing “Love Me Tender” and “I Can’t Help Falling in Love,” then he performed “Blue Christmas.”
My toes were tapping almost the entire performance. So were those of the lady sitting next to me. Many people frequently clapped to the music. Laughter was heard often in response to his jokes. Some of the joking was about his Japanese accent. He said he talked that way from the years he spent in New Orleans.
Everyone has their own catch phrases. Tabuchi’s would have to be “and it goes like this.” That phrase preceded almost every number.
Tabuchi carried us through many states with Christmas music including Louisiana, Texas and Hawaii. His daughter, Christine also sang several solos.
It was a wonderful evening of great entertainment that didn’t disappoint.
Jim Clark, director of the Lutcher Theater, said over 17,000 people, from all over the world, have come to see Tabuchi in those 15 performances.