While some in Southeast Missouri may hesitate about traveling to St. Louis to catch a show because of the distance, Susan Evans thinks nothing of traveling seven hours from her home in Point Pleasant, W.Va., to Cape Girardeau in order to catch a concert at the Show Me Center.
But then again, this is no ordinary concert for Evans. This is Trans Siberian Orchestra.
"There's no way I'd miss it," Evans said.
The Nov. 17 show at the Show Me Center will mark the fourth time Evans has seen the Christmas rock opera since she was introduced to it three years ago. She has seen it twice in Ohio and once in Washington, D.C.
She is traveling to Cape Girardeau this year because a surgery will keep her from attending other concerts at a later date.
"You're lucky to get them," she said. "It's just a great Christmas show."
Evans went into her first TSO concert not knowing much about it, but said she was blown away by what she saw and heard, from the blending of traditional and original songs, to a stage dressed in a beautiful light display, to the story of the spirit of Christmas, which is what the concert is ultimately about.
"It has something in it for everyone. For the very young through the very old," she said. "Every year it's been a sell-out show wherever I've been."
Spreading the word
Evans has done her part in spreading the word about TSO. She said at least 40 people in Point Pleasant have gone to see it as a result of her enthusiastic endorsements.
She took two of her three children to see TSO when they were 16 and 23 and her son, now 18, will be attending a concert in Charleston, W.Va., with his friends.
Coming to the Cape Girardeau concert along with Evans is a friend of hers from Arkansas, who will also be driving about seven hours. Evans said she might attend two more TSO concerts in Tulsa, Okla., and Kansas City.
Locally, 25 tickets have sold to Vienna High School in Vienna, Ill., and the Cape West Rotary Club recently purchased 55 tickets.
Show Me Center director David Ross said a woman who works at Drury Southwest that he talked to recently purchased 14 tickets for her office.
Despite examples like these, however, Ross said he would like to see stronger ticket sales. Currently, the 7,000-person capacity Show Me Center has sold more than 1,300 tickets for the TSO concert.
Ross said the reason more tickets have not been sold is that many people in the area do not know anything about TSO.
"In the second year, the word of mouth of the people who were there the first time would create that buzz," Ross said. "We're trying to create that second-year buzz in the first year."
"I feel that this is right for the community and the community will fall in love with it," Ross said. "There's no question in my mind that they will like it. If it's not considered the best show we've ever had, then it's in the top two."
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