As an eighth grader in the parochial school system, the doll is in the catbird seat as the four area parochial high schools vie for her attention and hopeful enrollment. Last night she and I were invited to view the final dress rehearsal of Mary Poppins, produced by one of the girl’s only high schools. “Mom do you want to go to the musical?” The doll called me at work asking. “Seriously, you wanna go?” “Well, only if you want to…”She said before adding, “Natalia, Nikki and Emily are going to be there too”. Smiling into the receiver, I replied, “If you want to go, be ready when I get home from work–the timing is going to be tight”. “We don’t have to go if you don’t want to…” She offered again. “No, let’s go. Heck, it’s a free show, why not?”
When we arrived as per our norm, we were running late; coming in just moments before the curtain was to open. Walking into the packed theater I pointed over to some open seats but instead, the doll spotted her friends (who saved her a seat) leaving me in the dust. “Seriously?” I asked as she sat down. Then she shrugged her shoulders turned and began talking with one of her friends, as if I wasn’t even there. After visiting briefly with the other parents, I found a seat next to my BFF and her daughter, several aisles away. Shortly thereafter, the first act began.
The first act was almost two hours long, good, but long. As an uncool mom, I was kind of happy the doll wasn’t sitting next to me, otherwise she would have smacked me each time I dozed off. But to put this into perspective, my morning alarm clock blares at 5:30 am. Put me in a darkened theater after dinner and all bets are off. I will say I was very impressed by all the talented kids singing and dancing talents.
When intermission came along, the doll and her friends ran up the aisle to the bathrooms, while I approached the remaining parents. “Marsha, we have room over here if you’d like to join us” Natalia’s mom offered. In the meantime, my BFF texted they weren’t staying for the second act, so I took them up on their offer.
When the second act began, I had no trouble staying awake. Wow! Is the most apt description to express how professional, well choreographed, fantastically acted the production was. In fact, I never thought they would be able to pull off “Step in Time”-the chimney sweep dance, but I was wrong! When the show ended–to a standing ovation, the doll looked at me and said, “‘Step in Time’ was awesome!” I concurred. “I feel like I just left a professional production, not a high school one,” the doll exclaimed. I felt the exact same way adding, “Thanks for wanting to attend this. Outside of the fact you didn’t want to sit with me…” “Mom! There were seats, you just chose not to sit there!” She admonished. “Not that I could see…however, as a reason not to spoil the good feelings we’ve obtained from the show tonight, I’ll say “okay”. Shooting me a cross look, she put her earbuds in her ears effectively ending our conversation; but not the good feelings we enjoyed from our theater experience.