Written by Jennifer Haler
November 26, 2013
We have a favorite family tradition every year - to see The Nutcracker. Debi Terracciano, owner and instructor of Le Danse, brings the Eugene Ballet Company to town to perform. What is especially fun is that many of the local girls get to play the smaller parts in the ballet such as the angels, baby mice, waltz of the flowers, bon bons and party children. Tchaikovsky’s music is beautiful, of course, and we like the idea of supporting a local dance group as well as the opportunity to watch close to home instead of having to travel to see it.
Even with the same dance troupe there are small changes you can find within and it is enjoyable every single year. The adult tickets were $25 and the child tickets were $10. However, anyone under the age of 18 can go on a child ticket. This is a nice perk since many places have kids paying adult prices at a very early age. Another benefit was when I purchased tickets I could choose my seating. This makes it more enjoyable on the day of since there is no mad rush to get there and claim seats.
So, we loaded up the car to go see this beautiful ballet. However, I am currently on week two of strep throat and in recovery. I was nice enough to pass it on to our oldest; she is currently on antibiotics as well. So, loading up the car was not as easy as it usually is. I was tired and she was exhausted. But neither of us wanted to miss out on our tradition so we bucked up and set off.
We didn't have far to go to NIC Campus. We found parking fairly easily and headed into Schuler Auditorium. Once inside we immediately purchased water bottles so that any coughing fits could be taken care of without disturbing anyone else. We are not contagious (we wouldn't have gone if we were), but we are definitely still recovering.
We found our seats, did the “Does anyone have to go to the bathroom?” check and settled in.
One of my daughters is currently learning the Arabian Dance on the piano so we have been listening to this lately. This was making us anticipate seeing the rest of the show.
There are variations each year that keep the ballet from becoming boring. There was one year we went that the Russian Dancers jumped so high we were all astounded, one year we noticed the sugar plum fairy and her cavalier more, one of our favorites every time is the Arabian Dance. I am always astounded at the amount of strength the dancers have as well as the amount of muscle control. They are truly amazing.
This year as we were sitting and watching the battle between The Nutcracker and The Mouse King we overheard a little girl, I would guess 2-3 years old, saying “Mommy, I’m scawed.” Yes, scawed, not scared. R’s are tricky. It was one of those moments where we all just looked at each other with the thought of “Oh my gosh, that girl is absolutely adorable.” The mother comforted her and she enjoyed the rest of the show but I totally love watching kids have fun at different activities and that was just too cute.
Before the show, during intermission, and after the show there is an opportunity to purchase memorabilia if you choose. We did not but this is an additional way to support the show and the dancers.
We had a fantastic time that night, and although my oldest and I had difficulty staying awake on the short journey home, it was worth it.
I am so thankful to Debi and the Eugene Ballet Company for putting this on every year. It gives our family a wonderful show to look forward to and creates a lovely family tradition.
Damn Yankees Musical
Performed by Lake City Playhouse
Written by Jennifer Haler
Recently I had a friend give me two tickets to see Damn Yankees performed by the wonderful people at the Lake City Playhouse. It was supposed to be a fun date night for my husband and me since it is difficult to get out together. But those plans fell apart as my husband ended up getting really sick. So my oldest and I got to have a date night instead.
Neither of us had been to the playhouse before. It is a non-profit community theater. At one time the building was a church and out front there is a beautiful fountain made from what used to be the steeple. The inside is small but nice. There is an area where drinks can be ordered. We walked in and snagged some seats. I decided to run to the bathroom before the show began, so I walked down a hallway to find the restrooms. I passed door number one which did not have a sign, and walked to door number two which said men. I figured the first door must be the women’s room and maybe the sign was missing. I returned to door number one and proceeded to open up someone’s office. Whoops! Someone rushed over to help. I apologized and discovered that the women’s room is actually at the end of the hall. So, to door number three I went. So for all you ladies, make sure you walk to the last door.
The show began and my daughter and I enjoyed the whole thing. The singing was fantastic, the acting was fun and it was nice to be in such a quaint theater. It was easy to see everything that was going on and easy to hear all that was happening. The seats were also pretty comfortable. Just a little past midway through there was a nice intermission, which my daughter and I appreciated. It was nice to get up and stretch our legs.
Neither of us had ever seen Damn Yankees before and we enjoyed it quite a bit. While I had heard the song “Whatever Lola Wants”, I had not realized it had been written for this play. So that was very fun to hear.
In the end we had a fabulous night. It was some great mother/daughter time, we got to see a musical and visit a place we had never been. The only thing that bothered me had nothing to do with the playhouse or the performers. It is a personal irritation of mine when people leave garbage on the floors and seats at the end of a show and I saw quite a bit of this. I will never understand why people can manage to carry the stuff all the way in but yet can’t manage to take it to the garbage that is right next to the door on the way out. Or why someone would think it is ok to throw garbage on the floor.
Down below is the sum-up of it all.
I love spending time with my family doing all the wonderful activities in the Inland Northwest.