Last night the girls and I headed into Boston for a dose of Christmas Culture.
Georgia and Josie quit ballet classes this year - there just wasn't enough time in the week to do everything. We were too busy with hockey and soccer to miss all those Nutcracker rehearsals and the performance came and went without so much as a disappointed sigh from either one of the girls.
I didn't miss the rehearsals either.... or the endless stream of cranky emails from the ballet mistress, but I did miss the ballet itself and I missed listening to the beautiful music.
A few months ago, The Boston Ballet put Nutcracker tickets on RueLaLa for half-price and I jumped at the chance to inject a little, low-maintenance, zero-participation Nutcracker into our lives.
I've never purchased tickets from RueLaLa before, so I wasn't sure if we would be sitting in the last row, behind a pillar, but that half-priced business seemed too good to ignore.
Josie had tennis in the afternoon and when we got back from the courts, there was just enough time to change our clothes and have a Continental Dinner:
Nothing like a little French bread, salami and cheese on a cold winter's night, no?
The girls wanted to pose in their outfits:
And so did I:
I spend most of my days in either yoga pants or jeans, so any excuse to put on a skirt is fine by me!
At this point in the evening, I switched to my tiny purse camera, so the picture quality is about to go WAY down hill.
We arrived very early - which is just the way I roll.
But we amused ourselves by taking photos in the lobby and people watching:
Once we got into the theatre, I had to put the camera away. There is no photography allowed - just like at our town's Nutcracker, although people seemed to obey the rule here in the big city more than they do in our small town. The Boston Ballet had redesigned it's Nutcracker costumes, sets and choreography this year - of course, it was all new to us, since we'd never seen the BB performance before. The costumes and scenery were beautiful - instead of the usual Dickens-esque outfits, the characters were wearing clothes that were more Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma. There were also some very welcomed plot twists. The ballet began in the city streets with children looking into the window of Drosselmayer's toy shop. Drosselmayer, himself, had more beefed-up role than I've ever seen before. He actually accompanied Clara to The Land of Sweets and sat with her to watch all the dances. The Nutcracker is no where to be seen in the Land of Sweets, except at the end, when he dances with the Sugar Plum Fairy.
It was different, but I liked it. Having Clara travel to the Land of Sweets with her beloved Uncle instead of a toy love interest, eliminates the whole creepy Man/Toy - Young Girl Romance Plot. And since this particular Drosselmayer looked remarkably like Kevin Kline, I was happy to see him throughout the whole ballet.
Josie and I were mesmerized throughout the entire performance. I love a good ballet and I love the Nutcracker, in particular. Josie, it seems, feels the same way. Her eyes were glued to the stage the entire night. Georgia enjoyed the first half, but got tired and bored during the second. It was exactly the opposite of our Wicked experience where Georgia was engrossed for the entire play and Josie moved around in her seat (or on my lap when the seat proved too uncomfortable for sleeping). Our RueLaLa seats were amazing - 7th row on the right - but there were tall people in front of us and it was hard for the girls to see past their big heads. Georgia told me this morning that she got tired of leaning to the side to see around the Tallies in front of her.
All in all, the experience was great.
It ends up that I prefer my Nutcracker without all the carpooling and rehearsing.