I know that we all aspire to create wonderful memories for our kids that will last a lifetime. We do special things, we take vacations, all while hoping that it will make an impact on our children's happiness and memories.
When I was a little girl we didn't live near the city (the closest city was 1 hour away) and we didn't have a lot of money. I have many wonderful memories of my childhood growing up in the country, but especially remember those special times when we got out of the country and did something special. One of my fondest memories is of going to see the Nutcracker ballet with my mom when I was about 8 or 9. She took me to lunch first at Sibley's which was a big (fancy to me) department store in downtown Rochester. I liken it to the Kaufmann's downtown. They had a restaurant on the top floor overlooking the theater. I can actually remember the excitement I had, all dressed up, looking out over the sparkling lights of the marquee.
The performance was everything I'd hoped it would be and the memory of that day is still fresh in my mid.
Fast forward thirty years (oh my, I'm old) and I haven't seen the Nutcracker since...until this year! I was invited by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater to be a guest at the opening night performance of the Nutcracker at the Benedum. In addition to the show we were treated to a backstage tour which was incredible. I'm a curious person by nature and always love to know how things work, what goes on behind the scenes and interesting pieces of trivia (did you know the PBT goes through $80,000 worth of toe shoes per year? or that there are 40,000 crystals on the big chandelier at the Benedum?)
The show was absolutely stunning. As a professor at Point Park University, I see dancers every day. I often find myself stopping on my way to the cafe' mesmerized by the ballet dancers in their class. So seeing a show of such amazingly talented dancers was such a treat.
I did not bring the kids to the show. I debated it and decided that they would not enjoy it or sit still well enough. I think I was wrong. The show moved quickly (for the most part) and had enough visual stimulation that I think they would have enjoyed themselves. Each Act was about 45 minutes long with a 20 minute intermission between. The time really flew by. I'm still not sure if my boys would like to watch ballet dancing, but I suspect they actually would have loved it. I regret not taking them.
If you have the chance this year, I recommend you carve out some time to go see the show. It will instantly put you in the Christmas spirit and you'll leave humming some of the most famous classical music songs around.
The show runs through December 23 at the Benedum. Tickets start at $27.75. You can order tickets through the PBT's website