Saturday, January 3, 2009

Audrey's first Nutcracker!

Long before my kids were born, my mom and I decided that when the kids were old enough, we would make it a yearly tradition to see The Nutcracker at the Fox Theater each Christmas. Once they were born, we decided that the "magic age" would be five years old. Emma is an old pro by now, this year being her fourth Nutcracker, but this year was Audrey's first! We all were counting down the weeks until it was finally here! I knew she would love it...I could remember how mesmerized Emma was the first time she saw it (and she had been throwing up all night the night before) so we couldn't wait to see what Audrey would think...let me tell you, she did not disappoint!

I bought her a new fancy dress to wear and even dusted the girls with some shimmery powder so they would really sparkle and off we went! We got to the Fox about 30 minutes prior to showtime. We went to the potty, visited the concession stand (you just can't watch the Nutcracker without popcorn!) and bought the both of the girls an actual Nutcracker. It didn't take Audrey long to choose hers...the Mouse King. Emma ended up with the Mouse King as well...she already has Clara and Uncle Strosselmyer from previous years. By the time we made it to our (front row) seats we only had to wait about 5 minutes for showtime.

When the show started, so did the questions! The show starts with townspeople walking across the stage...and Uncle Strosselmyer appears in an upstairs window. Audrey immediately wanted to know who the people were and "how in the world did that man get up there?"! Once the opening scene was finished and the crowd applauded, Audrey leaned over to me and said, "Is it over?" I had to explain to her that you are supposed to clap after each song, but that doesn't mean it's over. It only took about 7-8 songs before she stopped asking and started telling me, "Mom, it's not over, they are just clapping."

She was full of questions throughout the whole performance and I was so glad that I had purchased front row seats...I can just imagine how many dirty looks we might have gotten if there were people in front of us to hear her talk so much! One of my favorite moments was when all of the mice are on the stage fighting with the nutcracker...Audrey was so caught up in watching them that she failed to notice the furniture being moved around on stage....when the Mouse King came out of the Wardrobe, she noticed the large grandfather clock had moved....she said to me, "Okay, how did that clock get over there?" My other favorite was during one of the many dance scenes a couple came out and the man had on some baggy pants and a vest, but no shirt (sort of like Aladdin). Audrey leaned over to me and said, "Mommy, he forgot his shirt!" She knew we had been several years in a row so she then asked me if they wear the same costumes every year...I told her that they do, but sometimes they change a little bit, they might be different colors, etc. Her next question..."Did he forget his shirt last year too?" I think I enjoyed watching Audrey experience the Nutcracker more than the actual ballet itself!

Once it was over, we made our way to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. We love going to eat there after a performance at the Fox! We arrived at 4:30, and they don't start seating until 5:00. We got choice seats...right inside the train car! We've been fortunate enough to sit in the train every year after the Nutcracker. Audrey and Emma had a great time and they both agree that the Macaroni and Cheese is delicious!

From there we followed tradition again by stopping at the Krispy Kreme that's just 2 doors down from the restaurant. We were happy to see the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign illuminated. Audrey and Emma got to watch the production of the doughnuts we brought home! It was a wonderful night...full of great memories! I can't wait to take Amy next year as she turns the "magic age" in July.

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