Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Nutcracker

Today has to be one of the coldest so far! To say brutal, just about sums it up! It snowed last night and left a coating on the cars and grass. And the wind has howled all day. The temps are in the low 20's tonight. I think we are in for a bad winter. And I don't like it one little bit!

But, besides the weather, Hailee and I went to see the Nutcracker today at the local community college. Because her mommy & daddy couldn't be at both Gianna's Christmas Program at pre-school and The Nutcracker, I volunteered to help out if they needed me. Hailee chose me to take her and I was so happy to get to go. She is a Brownie and her troup leader is fun and enthuastic and has planned many things for her girls to do over the course of this year. There were about ten of us total; two adults and eight little girls.

In all honesty, I never really knew the story behind The Nutcracker. Or if I did, I clearly have forgotten it over the years. In the program that was handed out before the show, it tells the story of the Stahlbaum family. And the story goes something like this.

It's a cozy Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum's house. Their house is all decorated with Christmas ornaments, wreaths, stockings, mistletoe and in the center of it all, a majestic Christmas tree. As the Stahlbaum's prepare for their annual Christmas party, their children, Fritz and Clara, wait anxiously for their family and friends to arrive. When the guests finally appear, the party picks up with dancing and celevbration. A mysterious guest arrives dressed in dark clothing, nearly frightening Fritz, but not Clara. Clara knows he is Godfather Drosselmeir, the toymaker. His surprise arrival is warmly accepted, and all the children dance and carry on with laughter. The celebration is interrupted again when Drosselmeier reveals to the children that he has brought them gifts. Clara is given the best gift of all, the Nutcracker! Fritz grows jealous, snatches the Nutcracker from Clara, and it isn't long until the Nutcracker breaks. Clara is upset, but Drosselmeier fixes it with a hankerchief. The party grows late and the children become sleepy. Everyone generously thanks the Stahlbaum's before they leave. As Clara's family retires to bed, she checks on her Nutcracker one last time and ends up falling asleep with the Nutcracker in her arms. And the story goes on.....

The first act was about forty-five minutes long, intermission, and then act two. It went by rather quickly. And the girl's were really well behaved. They sat nicely, with only a few reminder's that they shouldn't talk. I think the only downfall was that the seats are big and low and these little girl's were having a little difficulty being able to see. Hailee sat on her foot much of the time.

After the show, we waited patiently for the cast to come out and sign autograph's. In the beginning, Hailee was only interested in getting Clara's autograph. But as she saw some of the other actor's coming out, she started to change her mind, and ended up getting about 12 autograph's. All of the girl's had their favorites. This cast of young people were so nice to all of these little girl's and thanked them for coming to see the show.

It was a fun afternoon and I'm so glad that I got to spend this time with Hailee. She will always remember that I went to see The Nutcracker with her. And I'm all about making memories with the one's I love.