Monday, December 22, 2008

SF Nutcracker with some nieces!

On the 17th, I took two of my nieces to the SF Nutcracker. Some points to keep in mind:
A. It was 43 degrees out - that's damn cold for SF!
B. The tickets cost $60 a piece

We drove to SF, found parking in the Plaza garage and set off for the 2pm performance. The block and a half walk in the 43 degrees weather almost took our lives. Well, we were cold, anyway. The War Memorial opera house was besieged by little girls in fancy dresses, hanging out with moms and aunties and grandmas holding bags and snacks and cameras. I took advantage of the time in line to take a picture of the girls in all their finery by the Nutcracker poster:

Once inside, the ushers handed all the kids these little bags with stuffed mice and Nutcracker ornaments. Nice! We dropped off some Toys for Tots toys and headed for:

A. Restrooms - I am no fool
B. Snacks - we were hungry!
C. Ballet store - the inevitable

We thought a cookie and some sparkling cider sounded nice. Three cookies and two ciders later - $21.00! I had to return a cider as they only took cash and I had already spent $20 on two programs in the lobby!! Off to the Ballet store, where I told the girls to find something SMALL that would remind them of their day at the NUTCRACKER BALLET. Well, after they roamed around for twenty minutes staring at little dancing Claras, Nutcrackers of all sizes and colors and books with glorious photos of the show...both girls settled for...stuffed pigs. Oh well. I spied a lovely looking egg ornament with swirls of paint and glitter that I thought was nice for a remembrance. Until I saw the FORTY TWO DOLLAR price on it! Yeah, I'll blow an egg at home and paint it myself thank you!

So we head to our seats, which were not quite nosebleed, but high enough to induce a feeling of Vertigo when looking over the balcony railing. I gave a quick overview of unacceptable theater behavior:

A. No talking
B. No standing
C. No belching
D. No kicking seats in front of you

Then I got a photo of the girls awaiting the show to start, with pigs in arms:
The show was great, and both girls were entranced by:

The magic the Toymaker did in the party scene
The tree and room growing while Clara shrinks
The Mouse King's death scene
The Snow Ballet

I had seen the Nutcracker before, so when one of the Ballerinas fell during the Snow Ballet, I did not ask, as my niece did, if that was part of the show. NO. The girls were amazed at how fast she got up and got back in line! We were unfortunate enough to be sitting in front of a 4 year old who had not been told ANY theater rules and continually asked questions like...

Why is she doing that?
Where did he go?
Why are they dancing again?
What's on her dress?

...and so on. My niece kept shooting me "Help me!" looks and after both of us starting turning around and staring at the father during her questions, he finally took the hint and 3/4 of the way through the show, she finally shut up. DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN TO THE THEATER IF YOU CANNOT TEACH THEM THE PROPER BEHAVIOR!

So a grand afternoon, and a shot of the girls in the lobby, on the way out:
Then some posing outside just for kicks:
On the walk back to the car, the girls asked to see the inside of City Hall. I tried the "they don't let people like us in there" excuse...only to be told that they were told at school that anyone can go in there for courts. DAMN, kids are getting too smart. So we made it through some metal detectors and got some pretty interesting shots of the girls hanging around City Hall:

Then it was time for dinner (Outback - these girls had high ideas!) some Christmas shoe shopping and the lovely time I like to call..."Drop off at Home"!

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