It was a relatively quiet weekend. It began last Friday; the opening night of Cristy’s nephew’s high school performance of The Music Man.
In an unspoken sense, attendance is mandatory at most functions where an audience assembles in the school auditorium, unless we have a very good excuse. So this was not the first trip to the high school to witness the collective dramatic and musical talent of the student body.
During one of the previous performances, we were squirming in our seats, longing for the concluding selection. I remember hearing a baby start to whimper somewhere in the audience. Then the sound of that whimpering retreating as the parent carried his or her child out of the theater. It seemed like a golden opportunity, the answer to our quandry. I remember whispering to Cristy: if you just start crying, I could escort you out… She lowered her head in muffled laughter.
I think that audiences attend student performances in order to see their own children. We see them on stage and notice, from afar, their grown-up appearance, their poise and the results of many, many hours of rehearsal. We hear their strong singing voices and marvel at their dancing ability. But still, it is tedious. We are transported back to our own experiences with school musical productions. I wonder what it was like for my parents and all of the other audience members to suffer through those performances with smiles on their faces.
The final scene arrived, there was applause and cheering, then the students appeared and there were hugs and congratulations. Then it was over and the students were off to Denny’s to celebrate over pie and coffee. And we went home, reminding ourselves this will be our last year for attending school performances.