Derek C. Bok and Harvard University Productions are proud to present for two nights only at Soldiers Field Stadium, unforgettable evenings of stars. Tickets, for $12.50, $25, or $175, available at the Ticketron nearest you.
The man behind the window at Out of Town News may be a little confused when the line of mohawked punks and long-haired heavy metal-heads is replaced by pinstriped, balding middle-aged men with briefcases, trying to buy a ticket for the grand finale of Harvard's 350th celebration.
Only students and alums can get tickets to the University's more intellectual festivities--104 academic symposia on state of the art thinking and convocations on Harvard's history--and only through the Harvard 350th Ticket Office. But for one night, the University has decided to eliminate elitism and open up its birthday party to the public and fill the stadium's 30,000 seats.
Can you think of the last time 30,000 people got together to celebrate a big institutional birthday party? That's right, not too long ago. Just a few weeks ago, some festivities took place in Manhattan harbor, remember that?
Lots of people--including, no doubt, lots of Harvard alums--came to watch Miss Liberty's unveiling, to hear the Boston Pops, to watch the fireworks and hear the speeches. Then the next day, more people flocked to Giants Stadium to see dancing girls and the now infamous 200 Elvis impersonators.
Here in Cambridge, almost exactly two months later, a slightly smaller, but barely less glitzy performance will take place, regardless of Harvard officials' assurances that the University's birthday party will be sedate and intellectual.
Everybody's invited to a big free party on the banks of the Charles on Sept. 3. Here, you can watch a laser show where whales are flashed on a water screen; fire-eaters, jugglers and a huge marionette of John Harvard will wander among the crowds; and a 600-foot inflatable silver arch will reach across the Charles River over a barge full of Russian singers from Yale. Oh, and of course, the 23-piece women's samba band.
Tommy Walker, the man who lit up the New York harbor with the biggest fireworks display ever, will come to Cambridge that week in September to illuminate the sky above Harvard Stadium for the celebration's grand finale. He says that the Harvard version won't be as extravagant. That's a relief. Maybe someone will build scaffolding around the statue of John Harvard, and sell little styrofoam Harvard hats to sponsor a restoration.
The University will announce August 7 a detailed program for the multimedia stadium extravaganza on September 6, to coincide with the date that tickets will become available to the public. All we have been told is that Walter Cronkhite and George Plimpton will make an appearance. The Boston Pops will play--Harvard fight songs instead of the 1812 Overture--and maybe there'll even be dancing girls. If you get one of the sought after two-for-$350 seats in the prestigious 4000-person Crimson Circle, you'll get a better view, and maybe you'll be sitting right next to Charles and Di.
For those of you who prefer one event at a time, a folk music concert by Tom Rush, one of Harvard's only singing graduates, is also open to anyone interested, or anyone who's heard of him.
A few words of caution. First, if you're sleeping outside Out of Town news to be first in line to buy tickets, be careful of your wallet. Secondly, the T-shirts sold at this performance will probably be overpriced, since Harvard gets a cut of everything with a 350th logo on it. Don't buy tickets from scalpers, who undoubtably will be swarming around the gates of the stadium--they're likely to rip you off.
Oh, and be sure not to miss the 200 Derek Bok impersonators. Then again, you might want to catch the whole thing on t.v.