Monday, December 31, 2007

The Nutcracker

I have always wanted my kids to be introduced to the theatre, opera, symphony, and ballet. Year and year, I had it on my list of things to do to get tickets to The Nutcracker, then the Christmas frenzy would begin, and I would realize that I had missed the deadline again. I have always thought going to see The Nutcracker would be a great family tradition to get started. So this year, I finally got it together enough to get tickets (thanks to my dad) to take the 3 smaller children and Nana to The Nutcracker Ballet.

We had great tickets in the balcony, near the percussion section. That fact made me nervous at first, but luckily Tchaikovsky liked bells and light drums as much as big, loud bass drums. I took a Tylenol just to be on the safe side.

We began our experience at the ballet with the 3 children fighting over who was going to sit nearest the percussion section. I think every single one of them sat in that seat at one point or another. Luckily, the fascination with the drums kept them from climbing on the balcony railing.

I believe whoever designed the Springfield Landers theatre must have been about 4 feet tall because I had my knees shoved up into my chest for the most of the ballet. Justine kept changing her mind about where she wanted to sit, therefore climbing over all of us. I think the people next to us were impressed with how well behaved my children were.

When the ballet began, the kids were really interested and watching the ballet. I was actually quite impressed.
During the Arabian dancers of the second act, one of the girls stepped on her loose fitting Arabian pants and they came completely off. Just a pile of cloth on the stage. My mouth dropped open. She was dancing in her underwear. I thought to myself, "well the show must go on. " A wardrobe malfunction. What is this the Superbowl?
Maybe the kids wouldn't notice...
About that time, all three kids turn to me and very loudly say "mom, is she supposed to be in her underwear?" I clasped my hand over their mouths to stiffle their giggles.
Now granted, it wasn't like she was wearing a thong. Thank God. She had on ballet underwear. Probably practices in it all the time. It's not a big deal, I kept telling myself. We made it through the underwear scene without too many more questions or giggles loud enough to be heard from anyone within a 10 row radius of us. And I thought what a great opportunity to teach the children about perservence and that the show must go on, no matter what. OK, I can deal with this.

Then the beautiful sugar plum fairy was dancing. Her cavalier was spinning her around and around. Jaiden gently nudges me and asks "Is it supposed to be like that?" Then I see what she's talking about. The back of the sugar plum fairy's very tight, sleeveless, strapless top is unbuttoned all the way up the back. It's holding by 1 little measly, quite stressed button. All I could think of "Please God, make that button hold, there couldn't be a bra under there." Here I brought my children to get them cultured in the ways of the theatre and I have practically brought them to a striptease. For all that is good in the world - please make that button hold!
I don't think I took in another breath during the dance of the sugar plum fairy. I was nearly faint by the time she left the stage...with her top intact.
So as we left the theatre, my legs numb from sitting in the midget chairs, my feet smashed from being stepped on SO many times while my children played musical chairs, I was only slightly light headed from holding my breath during the ballet, and I couldn't help but think what a great experience, and what a great tradition for a family to begin.
It was definitely an experience that I don't think any of them will forget. I know I won't.

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