On the bus, Chris mentioned that this was his fourth field trip. Of course he's right and I've been on them all. When we got to the State Theater, I recognized it. Kenny had seen The Nutcracker there for Emily's birthday probably when he was in first grade. Jeff had seen Caillou with Timmy there, also when he was in first grade. So, it's a first grade attraction.
We had good seats on stage left and I let Chris sit on the aisle. There were second graders behind me so I had to slouch down the entire performance which wasn't very comfortable. I mean, when the encores began, I tried to move and straighten up and discovered that I was quite stiff and almost stuck! At the moment the curtain went up and the first inflatable appeared on stage, the kids were giggling. I didn't see what was so funny, actually. Maybe it was nervous laughter, not knowing what to expect next or hoping it gets better.
But it was curious how the performers did what they did. I found myself wondering, "How?" It was a good mix of acts that would appeal alternately to girls and boys. That is, alongside the masculine feats of strength like walking on his hands, a ballerina came out en pointe wearing an array of beautiful gowns, waving folding fans and long ribbons. Very complementary. I got a little uncomfortable towards the end when the male performance seemed to get romantic with his female partner, talking about kissing and such. But Chris's reaction was appropriate: he stroked my forearm tenderly. Still, I would guess the performers are involved offstage. At least I would hope so. Anyway, the male performer's ego was insatiable. He begged the audience to clap often. I reminded myself, "Oh, yes, this is why I loathe small-time theater." Done all in the name of training kids how to be a good audience.
On the ride back to school, Chris was tired and mostly looked out the window. Finding it strange to be in a vehicle but not driving, I fumbled through a rosary. This was interrupted a bit by the mother behind me who blurted out, "Shit!" (I kid you not, on a bus with K-2 students) when she realized that she'd left her son's hat in the theater.
She got the theater's number from the kindergarten teacher seated ahead of me and negotiated with the theater on how to retrieve the hat. Then she coordinated with her husband with whom she was supposed to rendezvous for lunch as soon as the bus returned to school. She explained the whole saga to her spouse and I could tell from her reaction that his reaction was, "How does this all concern me exactly?!" I wanted to ask her, "How long you been married?" because she didn't seem to have a clue about men and their principles of "division of labor." The marriage might be "a team" but that doesn't mean the players work together or simultaneously at the same activity. In other words, he wasn't interested in driving back to the theater with her for the hat and grabbing lunch along the way.