MOVarazzi

Monday, January 28, 2013

896. Tall and Short in Wonderland


We arrived early, posed for photos, bought a candy bar.  Our velvet-cushioned seats were in the Orchestra section, mere feet from the musicians tuning their instruments.  Silk dresses, wool suits, fur coats, cashmere sweaters with dry cleaning tags still attached—everyone was dressed up and on best behavior. 

We were at the ballet. 
Not just any ballet, but a world-class professional performance of Alice in Wonderland, where tickets cost $100 a pop, and they don’t even offer a discount for kids.  My dad and step-mom Nichole had generously purchased four seats for our family as our Christmas present, part of the trend of “experience” gifts instead of adding to our ever-expanding collection of “more things.” 

(We immediately walked into the gift shop and bought a white rabbit ornament.  We needed a thing to remind us of our experience.) 
The performance lasted three hours, and if you ask me, that was about 21 hours too few.  I LOVED EVERY SECOND.  The latent art major in me gobbled up the set design like gourmet chocolate at an all-you-can-eat buffet:  towers of oversized playing cards, a moving “sea,” a garden maze in psychedelic colors, a giant video of a spinning rabbit hole.  Combine this with flawless music, sublime dancing, exquisite costumes, and colorful tissue-paper confetti falling over the audience’s unsuspecting heads.  One hundred dollars a ticket?  I think that was a bargain.    

Tall and Short stared in awe.  Even The Husband, who had reminded me three times while driving over that he was missing a football game on TV, seemed to be enjoying himself.  I momentarily forgave him for continually pestering me before the show started to verify if this was actually going to be an Opera. 
“Because I hate Opera, and I’ll leave,” he declared.  He said the word Opera with the same contempt most people might reserve for gum on the bottom of my shoe.   

"Ballet," I confirmed, "not Opera."      

After the first act, I leaned in and whispered to Tall, “What did you think so far?” 
“There’s more?” his voice rose in glee. 

“Yes!”  I smiled.  “That was only the first part.  There are still two more acts.” 
At the end of the show we sprung from our seats, along with the rest of the audience, and gave the dancers a well-deserved standing ovation.  We clapped and stomped and cheered and whistled.  Loudly.   

And The Husband only thought football fans get that excited.
As we drove home, Tall and Short chattered excitedly about the performance.  “Remember when the Mad Hatter started tap dancing on the table?”, “And when the Queen took that flamingo and whacked the hedgehog?”, “And what about that Cheshire Cat—he was my favorite!”, “Or the dancing frog!  I loved him!”, “And Alice—WOW!  What a great dancer!”    

When we returned home and walked in the house, Short turned to me to share one final impression:  “Mommy, I love the Opera!” 
MOV

21 comments:

  1. I LOVE the idea of "experience" gifts over gifts of stuff.

    I didn't realize that Alice in Wonderland had been adapted to an opera. I went over to You Tube to watch a bit of it. Very cool.

    Glad the kids were so excited about it...oh and your husband too.

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    1. I know, right? "Experience" gifts are cool (never have to wash them or worry about losing them!).

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  2. "I love opera." Now there's a boy after my own heart.

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  3. I am so jealous! Also happy that your family got to experience the "Opera." I was the sort of 12-year-old who specifically asked to see Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby, at the Fox Theater for my birthday. My aunt got us balcony seats, and I will never forget being sprinkled with fairy dust or being mere FEET from Cathy Rigby. Theater is a magical thing.

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    1. Thank you, Haley, for validating it! I know people think I am loopy for dragging my kids (read: sons) to the ballet, but we all loved it. And they drag me to sports, so we're even. :)

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  4. How wonderful! And I love the idea of "experience" gifts! Great post. Just really made me smile. :)

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  5. Oh my that sounds so terrific! My parents took me to see "The King and I" for my 8th grade graduation. We also saw the stage production of "Peter Pan" when I was a kid. I think it's a wonderful thing to expose children to those kinds of experiences. I love it all: Opera -- check; Ballet -- check; Musical theater -- check. I'm going to have to see if this "Alice" show is coming anywhere near me. I'd love to see it!

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    1. I know you would love it, Paula!

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  6. We also do experience gifts, and they're always the best. Perhaps a real opera is in order for next time. I'm also sincerely impressed with your ability to get everyone there on time and dressed to the nines. Great memories!

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    1. thanks! and it is easy to be on time when you set the alarm for 4am by mistake! (try it!)

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  7. I am so jealous right now. SO JEALOUS!

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    1. ha! thanks! (but I am jealous of your art ability, so does that make us even?)

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  8. What a wonderful gift given to be enjoyed by all! I don't think my now 23 y/o has ever been to a ballet, so good for you for taking yours at a young age to get them "attuned" to the fine arts of this! Sounded like a great time!

    betty

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  9. "Experience gifts"? Yes, yes, yes! What a fabulous idea! I'm glad your family appreciated it, I'm afraid mine would either sleep or talk loudly- and that's just my husband.

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    1. ha! no, The Husband actually enjoyed it too. :)

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  10. My niece has been involved in a local ballet company forever. The ages range from 8 to adults so the performances they put on are slightly on the professional side. Never was into them that much but they recently did Alice in Wonderland and I actually really enjoyed it. Took my four year old and his favorite was the Cheshire Cat too.

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    1. The Cheshire Cat is universally appealing, no? You always wonder what is going on behind that goofy grin. I might have to buy that costume for next Halloween, I could probably eat a lot of candy and no one would know. :)

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