Monday, November 16, 2009

Barbershop Harmony


“Come on kids – we’re going to see a show choir today!”

This is the best description I can give them in an attempt to muster up some enthusiasm for a “cultural” outing.

We enter the building to see three “older” women at a table outside the theater doors. Hmmmm… Something feels different, but I can’t quite determine what it is. The women are smiling and very welcoming as I hunt for money in my wallet. It looks as if I am short on cash. One woman has a look of concern on her face, as if she thinks I’m going to turn around and leave. But, I find the money, and I can almost read her mind, “Got’em!” (I realize that it probably wasn’t just the income she was concerned about, but more than likely, she really wanted my kids and me to see the show.)

We walk through the theater doors. It’s very quiet. What’s missing? I don’t hear the sound of loud children. But what I do notice from the rear is: white hair…lots of it. There’s gray hair, too; heavily sprayed hair, bald spots, sport coats, and people sunk down in their chairs.

“It’s old people!”
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"Okay...not 'everyone' is old."

Mama Duck (me) and my three Ducklings walk down a center aisle to the front, cross over to the right, and come back up to the third row. I am ready to be entertained! My kids… well, I’m a little leery.

“Pleeeeease be entertaining for them,” I say to myself.

Four men come out dressed in baseball jerseys. I peek at my three girls. They have that “deer caught in the headlights” look. The “mature” barbershop quartet begin singing a cappella. I’m still skeptical; can my girls make it through the whole show - awake?

The next act is the women’s choir. They’re dressed in baseball jerseys, too. Many of them have the sweet, cushiony grandma look, but others are in their forties and fifties; a couple of them may be in their thirties.

The act includes props, hand movements, swaying, and tapping. The different singing voices is producing beautiful harmony. Now, my kids’ faces have a relaxed countenance. We all settle into the rest of the show which includes five women quartets, all recent competitors in Sweet Adeline.

In addition to the display of talented singers, we are entertained by their comedic talent, too. The kids are soaking in the “blonde” jokes, surely to be repeated in the car on the way home.

I’m glad we did this, thanks to my friend Karen who is in the chorus. The kids have learned something new, and I have, too. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve been in an audience watching and listening to a cappella.

What shall we do next? Hmmmm…

Have you (or you and your family) been somewhere and found yourself surprised at how much you enjoyed it? What did you do?
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15 comments:

Judy T. said...

Years ago, before I had a child, I had a friend with a 13 year old son. He was a pretty cool kid and had to attend a certain number of cultural events for school. I wanted to go to a concert by a band composed of some physicians from the hospital where I worked. The band was called "The Docs of Dixieland." I took my friend's son...only to discover that the "warm up" act was a chapter of the Sweet Adelines. It was fun, in an unexpected way. I recall I was squirming, just thinking about this poor kid who was with me! He took it with great grace and wrote a really funny, but kind, review for his class.

Menopausal New Mom said...

What a nice outing for your girls. For now, my little one is too young to sit still in any theater. Let's hope she has the patience for it when she's older!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

We went to the Gay Man's Choir in Houston...not so gay.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Any event will aid them in growing up. Sounds like a grand time.

Anita said...

JUDY T, that is so cool!
If I'd taken someone else's kids, I would have been squirming too, but if they were like my kids, they would have enjoyed it.
Sounds like a nice memory for you. :)

MENONEWMOM-DEB, you have to start with "Dora" on tour, or one of the other popular characters. The kids love it so much that they are mesmerized. You will surely blog about it when you take her to her first "big time" live theater. :)

LEE-the Gay Man's Choir? That's a new one for me. :)

MIDLIFE JOBHUNTER, Thanks for the encouragement. :)

Abby said...

Good for you for venturing out to this with the girls despite your trepidation!

I usually forgo these things thinking, "ah, the kids won't like it, then I won't have any fun". Maybe I should just make them suck it up!

Joanne said...

Music transcends the generations, doesn't it? What a wonderful way to spend time with your children. Wishing you many more happy concerts together :)

Anita said...

ABBY, It is indeed a risk. Sometimes taking/forcing the kids can cause everyone to have a headache.
I try to "set the stage" before going,(by any means necessary) so that I can get good results. :)

JOANNE, you're right...it's hard to mess up when beautiful is involved.
And - I receive your wish; that we do enjoy more concerts together. :)

Julie Magers Soulen said...

That sounds like an all American, ice cream social, church picnic, apple pie event. It's great to share that piece of Americana with your children. Glad it was a success!

Cheers!
Julie
Julie Magers Soulen Photography
Blog of Note

newmumover40 said...

Acappela is wonderful. Hard to do too. I always appreciate an acappela group that sings well. Sounds like a good show! I'm so glad your kids liked it in the end!

Midlife Mom said...

So glad your kiddos enjoyed the show. Here in our small town we have The Hometown Band that plays each week in the park. Everyone brings blankets to sit on or folding chairs and the children are running around having the best time. They are taking in the music and enjoying it on their own level, clapping their hands and swaying to the music. I really think more children should be exposed to good music!

yonca said...

Glad your kids enjoyed the show.
When first time I took my son to ice-skating ring, I wasn't expecting he would love so much icescating. I thought he would give up and he would want to go back home. But it didn't happen. He was doing pretty god after an hour:)

Dorraine said...

So glad it worked out for you and the kiddos. It's always a nice surprise when that happens.

Once I took my oldest daughter, then 19, and my youngest, then 13, to a theater production, not knowing what to expect. My oldest daughter knew someone in the play and had promised her we'd go, assuring me it was fine.

It wasn't fine.

Let's just say it dealt with adult themes I didn't even want to hear about. It was so awful, we slipped out during intermission. I then had to some explaining to do because my youngest was full of shiny new questions.

Anita said...

JULIE, "Americana" - It is! I'll have to incorporate that label into my next "piece of Americana" with the kids.

NEWMUM, I'm guessing you're a singer. You sound as if you have some expertise. :)

MIDLIFE MOM, I can imagine what you just described. I've got to do more of that too. Sounds like such a good time. :)

YONCA, we haven't tried ice skating yet. Maybe we'll plan to do so. Thanks for the idea!

THANKS EVERYONE! MORE COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

Anita said...

DORRAINE, yes it was a nice surprise - and totally G rated!

Funny you should mention "adult themes" and questions from the kids - because my next post will touch on that somewhat. Stay tuned... :)