Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stage Fright

Ray has an irrational fear of the stage. Two and a half years ago, I tried to take her to see the Nutcracker. As soon as she walked into the theater and saw the stage, she started screaming and ran out. She enjoyed watching the Nutcracker with Nana from the lobby on the LiveAction TV.

I took a risk, and Amy and I escorted Ray and CG to see Beauty and the Beast at the Barbara B. Mann Performance Hall last night. We had great seats, row K Center, aisle. Ray was fascinated with the man sitting next to us. His daughter was performing in the play, and he was clearly proud. Ray asked which character she was, and when the play started she told him his daughter was beautiful (she wasn't lying, either...the girl was gorgeous). She laughed, loudly, throughout the introduction number, and the people around us told us they loved her laugh. It was great! And fun.

Until, the second scene. (You knew this was coming, right?)

When the mood turned dark and the music became intense when the Beast became "The Beast," Ray covered her ears and screamed as she ran up the aisle towards the back of the theater, "Mommy, Get me out of here!!!!!!"

No one was laughing at that point, at least not me.

The ushers standing outside the doors to the theater in the lobby were extremely nice and understanding. They helped calm her down and let us sit towards the back corner where Ray would be able to enjoy the happy parts and hide against the wall.

Ray enjoying Beauty and the Beast in the "Safe Seat"
This worked well throughout the "Be Our Guest" portion of the ensemble. However, during the, as Ray describes it, "scary rawring Beast" scenes, she spent the time hiding behind a wall.

A Scary Loud Rawring Beast Scene

Regardless of the drama created by Ray, it was a fun night. Ray and CG acted like perfect little ladies in the lobby (well, as much as 5 year olds can)...

Ray and CG were very excited about their cookies at Intermission

It will be a long time before I try to take Ray to the theater again. She brings a whole new definition to "stage fright."

But, in the meantime, I want to send a big shoutout to the staff working at BB Mann on Saturday night. Without your patience, Ray and I wouldn't have been able to enjoy a fabulous production of "Beauty and the Beast." To you, we send a big Thank You!

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