Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Nutcracker

'Tis the season of family traditions. I'm not sure if this is one we'll keep.

This is the third year we've added it to our holiday traditions. It's very expensive and can feel more like a chore than holiday magic. I didn't know I had a passive-aggressive side, but I put off getting tickets for the show this year -- memories of a nutcracker-inspired tantrum or two still sting.

It's a local production with two performances a day, for three days. This year it was Friday, Saturday, and today. Tickets, if there were any left, would be available an hour before curtain at the theatre. The show was to start at 1:00, so at 11:45, I asked the girls if they wanted to give it a try. They got dressed quickly and we hurried into town, while the 6yo made up a song about how it was fun to run into town on a very wintry day. The 8yo offered "a merry wintry day." We got to the theatre and got in line. I asked for the best three seats together that they had left (the price range was $30, $35, and $40). The ticket person handed me my three and said, "That will be $90, please." And $90 bought us three seats in the center of the very last row of the very top balcony.

A surprise treat for me: the party people are performed by non-ballet folks from the community.
The fella playing the Father this year (the guy on the right), is a friend of mine.

The 8yo seemed captivated by the show.

A pas de deux

By contrast, with a few rare exceptions when her attention was grabbed by the action on stage, the 6yo whined about one thing or another through the entire show, eventually nearly growling.

The big scene-stealer: kid reindeer

We walked home after the show, not floating on air from the magic of a shared family holiday tradition, but griping about cold feet (the 8yo); lack of sweets (the 6yo); and the desire to cross this tradition off the list (me).

Mother Ginger and her enormous skirts

We got home and I administered emergency molasses cookies to the girls. Then they made up a ballet or two while I made supper. After supper, we sat down for the pre-bath hair-comb, which requires a movie. The girls surprised me by choosing the dvd of the Baryshnikov Nutcracker instead of Kung Fu Panda.

As we watched, we began to talk about some of the things we had enjoyed from today's live performance. And we were re-writing the day's story to give it a happy ending.

I still don't know if we'll go next year. I gotta learn my lesson some day, don't I?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lots of things become improved in the memory, compared to the original event. They'll remember you took them to the ballet.