When Chris Botti was here in April 2007, he was kind enough to agree to meet some donors before his performance (at a benefit for those who give $750+). It is part of my job description to organize these gatherings. Sometimes, it’s rough, because the meetings are after a show and it’s late. So I was fairly happy when I got word from Chris’s tour manager, Jeremy, that Chris would be happy to meet us *before* his show.
Now, I knew Chris Botti was a popular performer. His show had been sold out for months! I had seen photos of him; I knew he was attractive; I had listened to his smooth, seductive trumpet, but I was completely unprepared for his charm.
Chris and Jeremy came into the “meet-and-greet” and immediately disarmed us all with their casual ease. Chris signed autographs, posed for endless photos and chatted openly and sincerely. As I was taking the photos, one donor suggested that she take a photo of me with Chris. I demurred, but I don’t think anyone bought it. My husband happened to be with us, but I casually tried to nudge him out the door.
Above is the resulting photo.
The concert? Well, it was sublime.
The next day, I rushed to our Programming Director Bill Lockwood’s office and said, “You’ve got to bring Chris Botti back!” He said, “Oh, he’ll never come back. He plays much bigger venues now. We were lucky to get him!” I pleaded, “Oh, please! Just ask!” He shook his head. I felt like a teenager.
I went back to my office and emailed Jeremy, thanking him for arranging the visit, and telling him how much it meant to all of us. I attached the photo of me with Chris. I wrote, “I know I look so geeky with my name tag and red eyes.” He wrote back that he and Chris had a great time here, and that he fixed my picture for me. Here it is:
I ran back in to Bill Lockwood’s office and said, “Chris Botti said he had a great time here! He’ll definitely come back! Ask him!” Bill said, “Chris Botti has a great time wherever he goes. That’s part of his allure!” Well, he had dashed my hopes, but he was wrong.
Chris Botti’s concert this Monday night has been sold out for months, and you’d better believe we’ll be seeing him again before the show!
For more info on Chris, or to read Jeremy’s tour blog, go to www.chrisbotti.com.
Posted by Lisa Patterson, Annual Fund Director at McCarter Theatre.