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Tue August 9, 2005
The roar of the grease-paint, the smell of the crowd! David recently introduced his kids to the magic of live theatre.
By David Hill
Wilmington NC – [Click the Listen button to hear David's commentary.]
In Rogers and Hammerstein?s Cinderella (recently produced by the Opera House Theater Company) the Fairy Godmother performs a little magic. I?ll admit it?s impressive, what with the mice and the pumpkin, but it?s nothing compared to getting an infant and two preschoolers to Thalian Hall by three PM.
We figured it was time our children embrace their heritage. My wife Margaret comes from theater people. Her grandfather translated medieval dramas and her grandmother wrote plays which her other grandmother calls obscene. In my family drama is when you whine about having the flu. Of course I value my family?s legacy; I?ve already taught the kids to polish silver. It?s just that Margaret?s side is well a little more exciting.
Since it was kind of a date we bought two glasses of wine. It?s possible I imagined the glares from the other parents, but hey, this is all the romance we get! We?re multitasking, OK? And the kids got treats, too. But we had to establish an exchange rate between M&M?s and Chips Ahoy (eight and a quarter to one at yesterday?s close).
Our kids loved the play from the moment the director came out and asked for a show of hands: is anyone out there a princess? The hall was packed with little girls in gowns and tiaras, and hands shot up all around, my son?s the fastest. I whispered in his ear, ?Aren?t you a Prince?? He shook his head violently. Oh well; he wears heels better than half those girls anyway.
Even the baby was riveted by the action on stage, and all three loved the music. Abby even leaned into the orchestra pit and yelled, ?You guys are doing great!? They had no trouble suspending disbelief, despite recognizing two of the actors as Serpentarium guides. They did have some trouble with that whole Invisible Fourth Wall concept. At the end of Act two, when the Prince pleads to know her name Cinderella seems a little slow on the uptake, so Abby yelled it out. So much for Act Three.
But at the curtain call that fourth wall dissolves. Abby and Sellers yelled out, ?We love you, Cinderella!? And Cinderella looked right at them, smiled, and waved. Now that?s some magic.
Dr. David Hill is a pediatrician who lives and writes in Wilmington.