Monday, May 19, 2008

Shhhh........I can't hear the roar over the crowd!

Yesterday I took my oldest daughter, Chickie~poo, to see Lion King on Broadway....(except we weren't in NY ~ so maybe that should read Lion King on Bayway??) Any whoo, a friend and I have a pair of season tickets and when there are shows she has already seen, or doesn't want to see, I "buy" her ticket and take Chickie~poo with me. We chose to buy the Sunday Matinee (2pm) subscription, since chances are My Man would be home and I won't need a babysitter (we have no local family).

I love the theater but am rather new to most of the shows. Since I am such a voracious reader, most of the time I have read about each show, or seen a movie version, but have yet to experience it on stage. My mother in law has a friend that she has season tix with and they've been going for about 10 years or so. Last year I adopted this tradition for my own and convinced a friend to do the same. I love it and even though it can be a bit of a stretch to our budget, I happily forgo going to the movies and instead borrow the dvd's when they come to my library.

In December, I took Chickie~poo to see Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Show starring the Rockettes. Chickie~poo was soooo excited. Her questions were relentless: What time does the show start? What time do we need to leave our house? How long does it take to get there? Do we have time to stop for treats? Where do we park? How far/long is the walk? What time does it start again? She tends to be a bit anal ~ not sure where this trait comes from!

I assure her all is taken care of. She calls her Grandmother who just saw the show last week as it was in her city. Grandma tells her be sure not to miss the Rockettes as the Drummer Boys. We pull into the packed parking garage but are the only ones walking to the theater. We pass an older woman who is dressed as an usher and she says, "Aren't you a bit early?". We just murmur and keep walking as this is Florida, and we encounter confused elders daily. When we present our tickets to the usher at the door, we were informed the show started at 1:00 and we have missed the first half! My poor daughter was soooo disappointed. And yup, you guessed it, we missed the Drummer Boys act.

I was confused, as I bought a season subscription for Sundays @ 2. Apparently, they change the time of a few shows. I was told to check my tickets more closely. The tickets for this show and Lion King were for Sundays @ 1. Lesson learned. (the hard way!)

So yesterday, we left more than enough time to have lunch on the way and still arrived at the theater 45 minutes early. My daughter is 10 and is tall for her age. There seemed to be a million preschool aged kids in the theater and at least $60 a ticket, I was wondering if money wasn't an issue would I take my preschooler? I came up with.....NOPE, 'cause I think I'd be so worried they would be loud or squirmy and would somehow prohibit other viewers from enjoying the show. Obviously, these parent were cut from a different cloth than me.

For the most part, most of the kids were good. You'd hear some sounds every now and then. I saw a few parent with babies leaving through the dark door (which is even crazier to me as you have to pay for a ticket for any person, babies included) when they started to cry.

One scene a child continued to whine and the parent refused to take the child out of the theater and the actor playing Simba addressed the problem without missing a beat. In the scene he was telling Nahla how he couldn't leave his paradise as there was no place more beautiful, greener......etc. etc. and he slipped in Quieter. Everyone cracked up.

I point this out to tell you before the show started, the crotchety middle aged woman who has a season ticket next to us (and smells like mothballs, stale coffee breath and Charlie perfume) turned to my tall 10 year old daughter and nastily said, "Please don't talk or sing the songs and ruin the show for me!". My daughter was mortified that someone would think she wasn't mature or well mannered enough to handle herself appropriately at the theater! With all these young ones around, she decided to call my girl out?? I don't think so!

So tell me, what do you think about taking children to the theater?


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Loved going when I was kid and I still think it's a great idea. But God help the parent that lets their kiddo ruin it for others. I would give them an EVIL EYEBALL STARE like they've never seen before!

Just found your blog - love it!

Hallie :)

The Mom said...

I wouldn't take any of my kids under 10 years old.

We are THAT Family said...

I think 10 is a great age. I might could take my 8 year old, but she's a talker, so maybe not. I would have bit a hole in my lip not to say something to that woman!

Well Behaved Krissy said...

I think it is VITAL VITAL VITAL to take your children to the theater. However, it is also VITAL VITAL VITAL that you teach them proper theater etiquette. I think that is the problem. Most people have not learned proper etiquette themselves. I mean, they talk on their cellphones during a MOVIE for Pete's sake. The problem is not that a child under 10 can't behave in a theater. Its that their PARENTS haven't taught them how to act properly in a live performance. I can take my son, who is about to turn 6, and he can totally hang. No problems.

Now I think its WRONG to bring a baby or a toddler, but around 5 I think they are fine. Once they are able to mind and can sit for an hour stretch (assuming the show is actually good enough to keep their attention for an entire hour).

And when the old folks say stuff like that just say "hey, I taught my child proper etiquette. You just make sure your hearing aid is up so you dont have to ask your wife the whole time what the person on the stage just said."

Keeper Of All Things said...

I'd sooooooooooo have to tell the old woman off.; You paid for the tickets just like her.Really she should have expected singing at that show I know I sing with it at home.........loud! I might have taken my 9yr old but I would have had a really long conversation before hand.......probaly involving some threats.