I had a conversation with someone recently who was saying how she couldn’t wait until her granddaughters were old enough that she could take them. I wish the woman sitting in front of me, or even the one next to me, had waited longer.

A 2-hour performance is a long time for a 3 year old. Or even a 5 year old. I don’t blame the kids for jumping and squirming. And I understand why the woman in the front row of our balcony had to hold her child to prevent her from jumping because it is a long way down. But I don’t blame her little one for throwing a fit about it. Because she did not want to sit still for that long and she wasn’t that interested in the ballet. Really. And why her mother made her sit still for 20 minutes before the thing even started is beyond me.

I paid $88 for our 2 tickets. One adult. One child. Those women could have saved themselves a lot of money and grief and he rest of us would have enjoyed the performance a lot more. Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, it is a beautiful Christmas tradition. But it is a tradition. There is a performance every year. This company comes regularly to Ottawa. When it isn’t them it is someone equally good.

I am pretty sure that those little girls did not enjoy the performance. When the little one next to me asked, in the second half, to “go home now” that was pretty clear. The level of disruption after the intermission was both predictable and wholly avoidable. Those kids will appreciate it more when they are older and the parents won’t resent spending all that money.

Apart from that we had a lovely time. It was a beautiful production. Tigger’s friend was in it. They audition local children for some of the minor children’s parts. It is such a great experience for her friend to be involved in a proper production with a big important ballet company.

The Royal Winnipeg are coming back with Peter Pan in January. I’m tempted. And there are no matinee performances. A shame on one hand because 10 p.m. is still a bit late for Tigger and I’m sure there are lots of ballet fans, especially seniors, who don’t like to go out after dark in the winter. But it also  means that no one will presume it is a children’s event and bring children too young to appreciate it.


9 thoughts on “Nutcracker

  1. We went to a performance of the Nutcracker today! I noticed a few young children there but everyone was pretty quiet. I had had a chat beforehand with my kids about: wriggling, sighing, asking “Is it over yet?”, sniffing, yawning ostentatiously, and asking for food. Just in case. And they were charming seat mates. But they are older. I agree with you about the age thing though. I hate being in places with little little kids, who are just acting like little little kids, and it’s SO not a place for them.


  2. I’ve seen similar situations where someone is taking the children Christmas shopping. Seeing and listening to a child being dragged, nagged and badgered around the store certainly lessens the experience for everyone else.

    The worst of it is that many people blame the kids for it when it is almost always the adults that are at fault.


  3. We went to The Nutcracker yesterday, too. We had Missy with us, and — yes — it was too long for her. 🙂 If she had been disruptive, though, I would’ve taken her out. I can understand parents overestimating a little one’s interest level or attention span, but they need to be prepared to pick up the kid and leave before they spoil things for other people. That’s why, back in the days when we went to church, we always sat in the VERY BACK pew.


  4. we went two years ago and the balcony where we were sitting was dotted with children using gameboys. not only was it hugely distracting, but it readjusted our eyes so we couldn’t see the stage! couldn’t quite figure out what the purpose of bringing those kids was .. and they certainly spoiled the experience for ALL of the rest of us.


  5. We love the Nutcracker! We didn’t go this year, but it’s the first year we’ve missed in awhile… It’s too bad the antsy little ones you saw weren’t taken out. It makes it hard to enjoy the show when kids are being disruptive!

    Thanks for the comment on R’s project. I was hoping we were putting useful things in the bags. We put each bar of soap into a ziplock sandwich bag to try and help with the “carrying a wet bar of soap around” problem. If your friend has mentioned other little things that we could include, let me know… this is definitely a work in progress! 🙂


  6. I’m hoping we go to a Nutcracker, but our travels are limiting our outings. We just want to stay home!

    We like to go to the orchestra concerts for students, but some homeschooling parents are just so excited to get their young ones “started” that they bring very small kids. I sat next to a boy who was banging his head against his seat while his mother dealt with his younger siblings. To what end? Who gets anything out of that?

    As I said to someone just today, kids don’t have to experience everything at once.


  7. I feel sorry for those kids. Wouldn’t it be great if their first Nutcracker was magical and wonderful and something they’d remember forever?

    Silly parents. But then again, in North America we don’t really have the tradition of noisy afternoon Christmas pantos, which do serve a purpose :).

    We went to the evening performance (8 pm) of the NY City Ballet’s Nutcracker two weeks ago and no young children in sight (or hearing). I seem to recall the website for ticket orders noting the unsuitability — I think that was the word — of the production for children under five.

    Better luck with Peter Pan!


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