Easy Street

Last night we took Elena to see the Zilker Hillside Theater production of Annie. Jenny and I have gone to see their production every year that we’ve been together except for last year, when Elena was just too little. This year, however, she was ready to go and be a good audience member.

The only bad thing about the show was how late it started. They don’t start until it’s at least somewhat dark, which means an 8:30 curtain, which is already after Elena’s usual bedtime. We arrived at 6:15, lucked out on a parking space, and managed to find a good spot in the shade. We put out some blankets to reserve spots for Jean, Jeremy and Amy, and their kids. After that, we settled in with our pizza and strawberry picnic. Elena was hungry enough to eat a whole piece–crust and all.

We did find some things to do before the opening number. In honor of the canine actor playing Sandy, there were some rescue dogs down by the stage, so we went down to say hello. Later, when Jean arrived, I took the kids to an empty area and let them play with my marshmallow gun*. Of course, we had to defend our blanket territory from latecomers. Elena wanted to steal toys from the baby on the next blanket over, but we eventually convinced her just to wave. But that was it; there was a limited amount of fun stuff to do, and Elena got pretty wiggly towards the end of the waiting.

As soon as the lights came up and the orchestra started the overture, Elena was hooked. She loves music and dancing so much–she must have inherited a love of musical theater from Jenny. Sitting in my lap, she was watching attentively and swaying back and forth to all the classics, from “Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow” to “Easy Street.” She even applauded at the right time. The spoken scenes didn’t hold Elena’s attention quite as well, so she tired Jenny and me out by wiggling back and forth between us, but it was mostly quiet and didn’t harm the experience for anyone else.

We left at intermission, because it was already ten o’clock. Elena was still awake and watching the show, but we could tell that she had become a little zombie girl. It would have been nice to stay for the whole thing, but we got most of the good stuff and certainly had a good time. I hope we can find similar cultural events near our new home.

*The marshmallow gun went home with the kids–they’ll play with it more than I did.


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