the performance was held at a local high school auditorium. and it was quite a venue - ornate and beautiful and full of history. part of a school that began in the 1800s, it was built in the late 1930s and featured everything from high school plays to the original von trapp singers and even served as an army base during the war. bob hope and the desi arnaz orchestra played here, and so did the los angeles philharmonic. pretty cool, i thought - despite the lack of a/c inside. in late june. yeah.
actually, during the dress rehearsal it was pretty comfortable in there. granted, there weren't a gazillion folks inside and the temperature that day was in the high 80s.
off to the side of the stage was a small classroom that probably houses the band or chorus during the school year. that's where the bean's class and the other younger dancers had their dressing room. she and her friends had a ball playing in there while we waited for them to be called to the stage. check out the li'l bugs in full costume and make-up:
i guess it's pretty normal for these things to run super behind schedule, as they fine-tune stage placement, lighting, music, and all that jazz. the kids didn't give a shit and had fun bouncing in their seats and giggling together while we moms stood around tapping feet and checking watches. heh.
finally, it was time.
do you have any idea how comical it is to watch a group of little dancers onstage together for the very first time? they're trying desperately to remember their steps, watching each other and their teacher, standing just offstage doing the dance for them, and keeping one eye out in the audience to make sure mom's watching. and of course, we are - lined up all along the front of the stage, cameras clicking away, and maaaaaaaybe wiping away a tear or two. what?
lemme tell you, it's a damn good thing i got those shots - because when it was showtime for real, ain't no way i was getting this close to that stage.
the next day, we had to make sure we got to the venue on time. since it was the one and only performance, it was gonna run on schedule for sure, and we actually arrived a little earlier than needed. and like the day before, the girls just had fun hanging out, snacking, coloring, and enduring more photo shoots.
i actually got into the auditorium just once - during intermission, when i went out to fulfill my duties at the snack bar. luckily for me, they had more help than they needed and i was able to head over to our seats and say hello to my family.
oh - despite the odd "li'l bugs" that the bean was part of, the actual theme of the show was "wizard of oz."
when i headed back into the dressing room, their dance teacher was handing out these super cute cupcakes she'd made earlier that morning.
i don't really have any good photos of the bean and co. onstage in front of the audience. i was, however, just beyond the curtain with the other moms, grinning proudly from ear to ear and snapping away as much as i could. the photos i got are all blurry (like you expected anything else), but here's the bean as she exited the stage triumphantly. and yes, the dance went just as it did during rehearsal - a hot ass mess - but because they're still so little, that added to the awesomeness of it all.
since their number was near the end of the show, we all decided to keep the girls in costume so they could join the rest of the company onstage for the grand finale. each kid was handed a balloon and grouped together in ROYGBV order.
she was so enchanted by her balloon, tugging on it, smacking it and watching it pop back up, and otherwise just not leaving the damn thing alone - and as soon as i turned away for a second, it became untied and floated right up to the ceiling. eff, man. and she was so stinking sad as she watched it fly up and out of reach. of course, there weren't any extras and she had to settle for holding her friend's hand to "share" a balloon for the walk through the auditorium and up to the stage.
i took a bunch of these shots from way at the back before i realized it was futile. no way in hell can you see where she is in this mess, even though she's right at the front of the group. and you can see that the whole rainbow theme just fell to pieces. it was...uh, slightly unorganized.
let me tell you, it is such a freaking relief to have this shit over and done with. they've been prepping since - oh, probably february. and over the last month, it's been a total time-suck and rather stressful. but it wasn't without its benefits - the girls got a lot closer, and so did their moms. it was really nice to get to know them better and to have each other to lean on when we needed to vent or roll eyes or just do a little old-fashioned bitchin' and moanin' over it all.
and guess what? in a few weeks, preparations will begin for the dance studio's annual holiday "nutcracker" performance. and this year, i think the bean and her cohorts are actually old enough to take part in it.