I took Carly to the Nutcracker today. Friends of ours had planned and booked a trip to New York City to see the Rockettes on the same day that one of the grandmas bought second row tickets to the Nutcracker...lucky us got to take the tickets no one else was going to use.
It was magical! There were lots of special effects, which were sometimes neat (snow falling on the audience, paper streamers during the Russian dance, sparkles during Chinese) and sometimes scary (big bright flashes right in our eyes, and one big BOOM that had one of the pages on stage covering her ears). The Uncle Drosselmeyer was super awesome and the way the first act was choreographed was my favorite so far. The ballet actually opened on Clara dressed up like a poor cajun girl on the porch of a shack and her "parrain" rows over in his boat to give her a book...she falls asleep as he's reading it and there is the story. That was really cool.
Before I get to the point of this post (I promise there is one...I don't use the word 'precious' unless I'm being sarcastic.), I just need to say that it was weird that Clara wasn't escorted to the magical kingdom by the Nutcracker Prince and that some swishy chef boy was standing beside her all during the second act. I do get that it is a "Tale from the Bayou" where people are more used to the idea of chefs than princes, but still. I thought it was the Nutcracker's kingdom, and I'm not so sure how he can really run the place as a 12-inch kitchen gadget. I guess here, where people regularly dress their five-year old sons in big sailor collars and embroidered one-pieces (saw it today), it's not that big of a deal to change a 118-year old ballet. We DRESS our kids like it's 1891, so we should have a little license with all other historical details, right? (Also filed under this provision would be the confusion about the Civil War which would explain all the confederate flags flying all over the place down here.)
So, the story. When Clara comes back downstairs, the tree grows and the Nutcracker grows and all the tin soldiers get into a fight with the big mice and then Clara kills the Mouse King with her shoe. Before the little kids in mouse costumes came out to run around, they sent out a couple of motorized mice and Carly - from the middle of the second row - got very excited and said, "MOMMY LOOK! A MOUSE LIKE IN OUR HOUSE!!!"
I swear to you the conductor was laughing.