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    My First Time at the Ballet

    I finally saw the Nutcracker Suite! Well, most of it anyway. Seems I fell asleep briefly during the dream sequence in the second act and missed the mice and King Rat. Well, who cares about the rats anyway.

    Herman and I went to the 2 P.M. matinee in early December at Proctor’s Theater to see the Northeast Ballet company’s production. I was convinced that I wouldn’t fall asleep since it was an afternoon show. But the warmth and darkness must have gotten to me. Well, Herman didn’t let me doze off for long, and I saw most of it.

    I must say I loved the music. And that’s probably why I fell asleep also. It was very restful and soothing. I kept asking Herman what the story was, and he kept saying the story wasn’t that important. Just about a girl getting a magical nutcracker from her uncle for Christmas and then having dreams about it.

    As Herman is typing this for me, I am reminded of the entire ballet. What I especially liked was the soloist ballerina dancing across the stage, and of course the lady with the huge hoop dress with all the little children who came out to dance. I think that was the best part.

    During intermission I was craving popcorn, and so sent Herman off for that. He dutifully went to get that for me, but while waiting in line missed the live horse-drawn sleigh that came on stage.

    We were told at the beginning that we were the first audience to see the newly renovated stage at Proctor’s and that was special. I also went out with Herman briefly during intermission and was surprised to see my neighbor Kim from the lake with her daughter Emily. They seemed to be enjoying the show too.

    Terry tells me that when she was a kid her dad used to work at Proctor’s as a stage hand, so she got to see shows from the wings all the time. She tells me that when she wanted popcorn and treats all she had to do was to go to the concession and say she was Jim’s daughter. She was taken care of very well.

    Terry couldn’t believe I had never seen the Nutcracker Suite ballet. But then she can’t believe I never experienced a lot of things she and Herman did. For instance, she was surprised I didn’t remember ever having cotton candy.

    We were at a street fair this past summer and she asked the girl at the cotton candy stand to give me a taste. It was too sweet for me. But I can see why kids would like it.

    Both things I’ve spoken of here are geared towards kids, and as I write this to you just before Christmas and Hannukah, I have to say those holidays are more for children than adults. But the Nutcracker seemed to be for the child in all of us.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com