With each new trip down South Street heading toward The Raleigh
Memorial Auditorium, I look forward to a new experience. For me, it is
a memory-in-the-making with my family. For my daughter, it was the
birth of a new love.
was 2 years ago, this November, sitting in the dimly lit theatre,
side-by-side with my daughter, when the true passion had taken hold. The love of the stage.
It was Annie.
It was the perfectly choreographed dance of the orphans, performed out
on hands and knees with sponges and buckets. It was the vibrant colors
of the New York skyline set. It was the shrill of Ms. Hannigan’s laugh
when she plotted against the children. And it was the last dance with
Daddy Warbucks that had truly captivated the heart of my (then) 4 year
old. I noticed a little twinkle … an awakening of sorts that seemed to
grow with each tap of the heel. I couldn’t be happier to experience
that magical moment with her… Right then and there.
like any other 4 year old, this little gal could rarely sit still for a
10 minute cartoon and typically found it imperative to see the inside
of every restroom … in every restaurant … at every meal. Snacks were a
must at any function over 30 minutes. But not this time. Not a peep.
There were no snack requests or bathroom breaks in those 2 magical
hours. Just pure passion for the excitement on the stage.
remember when I, too, was captivated by Annie. Growing up in a rural
area in Northern Michigan, theatre was hard to come by. However, Annie
happened to visit a nearby town, and like myself, my mother jumped at
the chance to take me. I sat in awe, imagining the life of these tiny
actors and replaying “It’s A Hard Knock Life” over and over in my head
Since seeing Annie, we have managed to make an
appearance at a few other productions. It always amazes me to see what
little things my daughter takes away from each performance. For
example, in Wizard of Oz, she developed the love of the ruby red
slipper. We may have walked down that Target isle, past those
glistening, scarlet shoes 100 times before, but it wasn’t until she
witnessed Dorothy herself, clicking those tiny heels, that she truly
became enamored with the sequined red slippers.
And then there
was Little House On The Prairie. For me, I was captivated Melissa
Gilbert’s rendition of “Ma” in the show that I adored as a child. And
the music … it brought me back to a time in my life … way before cell
phones and the intranet. She, too, picked up on the simplicity of life.
Things as simple as the tattered, homemade dresses and the
uncomplicated lifestyle. Not to mention, she wanted braids in her hair
(like Laura) for a week after the show!
I occasionally hear the
phrase “Save The Drama For Your Mama” and I have to laugh because it
means something a little different to me. It means to set aside the
time to share the wonder and excitement of the drama of a stage
production with my children. To open their eyes to another world or
another time and place. And whether or not my daughter ever experiences
the thrill of being cast as the lead role in any production, such as
Annie, I will always remember the spark that Annie lit long ago as we
sat marveling at the show playing out before us.
Do you have a special moment or tradition that you do while attending the theatre with your children? Please share it with me!