Forgot to post the link to my review of the Richmond Symphony's first concert in its new Lollipops series, published in Sunday's Times-Dispatch.
Yes, "The Composer is Dead" is funny, and I don't think it's just "inside" jokes. For example, even if you don't really get why the part about the violas is funny, the music written for them sort of explains the joke.
This is the sort of piece that will certainly become standard repertoire for family concerts, if not for the occasional adult concert, too. (I think the grim humor of performing this piece on March 26, the date of Beethoven's still mysterious death, would be perfect.) What parent wouldn't rather take a kid to a show that they themselves will appreciate, too?
The symphony partnered with Radio Disney to provide publicity, I guess, and to help run the pre-show and half-time entertainment (costume contest, perky DJ). As much as I, the Snob, detest the Disney Channel (I'm guessing that Radio Disney is similarly detestable), I think this was a excellent move for the symphony. Advertise in the same places, you'll get the same people. Advertise in new places, you'll get new people. Maybe they've done RD partnerships before; I dunno.
By the way, speaking of funny, watch this video of Lemony Snicket and Nathaniel Stookey discussing "The Composer is Dead," in which Snicket compares it to a dead butterfly and a gateway drug, and makes the case for a hospitals to have house bands.