Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Peter Panned

Do not take Crabtot to the local theatrical production about the boy who inspired Michael Jackson to reclaim his childhood (and the childhoods of others).

Okay, so MJ has nothing to do with this post...but Peter Pan, he is a big deal in this town, where a lot of the local men are referred to as possessing the PP complex because they put their BA from Boulder to use by skiing all day and working pizza delivery at night...and they are like...45. Suh-weet! (And they say things like "sweet!")

Anyhoo. So the point is, there is this PP production and everyone is gabbing about it because it is so a propos the town and is an important production for our new town theater...and a kind friend buys tix for me and the tot, and though I have a HUNCH THAT IT WILL ALL GO WRONG, I take Tot to the matinee. whereupon, after ten minutes, loudly into the silence, just as PP begins his first song, she says, "I want to go home."

Ordinarily this should not pose a problem. Matinee. Toddler "want to go home." You remove her, to the sympathetic gazes of other parents, take her out for a while, maybe go back in, maybe go home...and that's it, right? Except this is no ordinary town. In our vale of wealth, we have raised much bucks to build a very fine and professional theater and PP is the opening production, so it is like A VERY BIG DEAL, and they are taking it very much seriously.

Hence. The lady next to me, who also has a small one, giving me actual nasty glances and huffily winding up Crabtot. I am trying to shush the tot, and trying to stop her snapping the new velvet seats up and down, up and down, but it does not help to have a mom next to you who, when Tot puts seat up, snaps it down. Just, you know, to make the point very clear.

After Tot announces that it is time to go home, I proceed to try and get my way out of this PACKED TO THE GILLS theater...but non-compliant mom does not even move her knees one inch, and she has this tyke on her lap, and they give me the evil red-eye-in-the-darkness as I coldly sweat into my dress, trying to heave a two-yr-old out of there, a two-yr-old who is now cawing like a crow, an ugly broken sort of noise very unsuited to Tinkerbell and her attendant friends.

So I did manage to get the tot out, but then heard we had MISSED THE ACTUAL FLYING. I mean, they really flew up on invisible threads...like I said, many dollars spent...I think they hired a bunch of people from around the nation, lighting peeps from one of the Carolinas, costume directors and set builders from Pennsylvania and Chicago, respectively. (No, I don't know, man, but I know the new theater meant the shipping in of highly skilled people from hither and yon, no more amateur locals making costumes, certainly not.)

Anyway, as you all know, I am quite the tough mom and so I dutifully removed Tot when behavior was overly bothersome. I mean, I know she is not yet 3 and that perhaps this is too young an age for C-tot to enjoy a theatrical production, but I was aware of that and ready to bolt when the cawing became too loud. So I did.

Still... I wanted to see the flying. And I wanted Crabtot to see it.

And then I thought, so what if she is a bit on the naughty end...it's a MATINEE. Of PETER PAN, fergoddsake, in a rural mountain town! It's not Edward Albee at the INSERT-NAME-OF-FAMOUS-NYC-THEATER. So we tried just one more time to go in, and at this point Captain Hook appeared upon his frosty island, a confection of green and purple with plashing waters and little giddy pirates...all quite impressive, to me at least. But Crabtot gave it the crow's response once again, so I hasten her to the exit, where a TAKING-IT-QUITE-SERIOUSLY usher asks me if I could maybe wait until the clapping before leaving the theater.

Okay, so I used to do vast quantities of theater as a teen and I was very into it and we had also a rather schmantzy theater (and I am still upset that I WASN'T ACCEPTED TO DRAMA SCHOOL) -- but even in my deepest Lady Macbeth soliloquy, I don't think I would have been knocked off my game by the subtle slipping out of a mom who just wants to get her noisy child out of there for the good of all.

Stressful. Hideous.

Needless to say, C-tot thought she wanted to return to the theater, but I was glad to leave and felt a mighty wind of freedom as we drove away. It looked to be a swell production, and the kids were great and very pro, with little Britney Spears mikes on their heads and all, but I guess the moral of the story is that one must really only take kids to a matinee production of Peter Pan in the tiny, weeny town where they live if they can behave.

In short, you can only see Peter Pan when you...grow up.


p.s. there was a blackout for TWENTY minutes after we left and everyone had to stay in their seats. Thank God we left. Thank YOU, sweet Crabtot, for cawing when you did and with that ugly timbre. I cannot imagine surviving a blackout with you.

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