The Play’s the Thing

Over the weekend, we took in a couple of cultural events. The first, at my work, was an audience participation version of Oklahoma! The boys were excited to get their hats, decorate them (with the help of student volunteers) and learn a short dance to go with the song “Ranchers and Cowmen Should Be Friends.” All the other kids from my department were participating too. We all laughed and predicted which children would be most into the performance. Let’s just say we were not wrong!

I figured Seamus would do whatever the older boys were doing. I figured Gilbert would want to get up, stand there, but not smile or dance. Both of them performed exactly as I thought. They did enjoy the show and the singing. Afterward, they wanted to know when the next time would be that they would get to stand up near the stage.

On Sunday, we took them to the Kennedy Center for the National Symphony¬†Orchestra’s Halloween Show. It was great; they played the overture from Phantom of the Opera, a Dance Macabre, a selection from a Norwegian composer, Harry Potter music, and a selection from Faust. All the pieces were spooky, interesting tempos, and narrative to some degree. Seamus was bored and wiggly at one point, but Gilbert was enthralled. I’m not a huge fan of symphonies, but I think it’s valuable to understand how the music works. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the experience–my first time at the Kennedy Center. Patrick’s dad watched Porter, because I don’t think he’s quite ready to sit through that. We took Metro home, which was an additional source of excitement for the kids.

I had written a while back that we would be taking them to some shows this year, and I’m glad we made that commitment. Part of the reason it’s possible is that the boys have a lot of experience of going to kids’ theater and puppet theater with their grandparents. They know how to behave, so we were thrilled to pick shows that they would get to experience as slightly older, more mature audiences. The highlight for them at the NSO was the final piece–the theme from Ghostbusters, which was an opportunity for audience participation!

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