The other night Princess Bear (PB) and I went to see the stage performance of Beauty and the Beast. PB is a Beauty and the Beast fanatic and that's putting it mildly. She owns the movies, the dolls, the books. I think if it's available she owns it. We found out over the summer that Beauty and the Beast was coming to Peoria and PB got very excited. PB has absolutely no concept of time so it's been a very long 6 months waiting for the performance to arrive. My parents were originally going to buy the tickets for PB as part of her birthday gifts. Jack (my dads best friend) is kind of like PB's personal fairy godfather. Jack has always had a soft spot for PB and spoils her unbelievably. For example the day that Cinderella movie was re-released Jack called to see if PB already owned it. I said she didn't to which his reply was "Don't buy it. I'm going to the store right now". This isn't unusual for Jack. So Jack was the one who purchased the tickets. He called the day of the performance to tell me to buy PB something that she wanted. My parents had already given me money to buy her a program because she collects them.
Finally the day of the performance arrived. I think she made her teacher absolutely crazy. She was just a bit hyped up and rearing to go as soon as she woke up that morning. I picked her up from school and we ran to HyVee. By the time we got home I was ready to lose my ever lovin' mind. The child was absolutely beyond crazed with excitement. The performance was at 7:30pm so it was a looooooooooooooong afternoon. She also couldn't wait to get dressed up. The child does love to get dressed up. Around 6pm I finally let her get dressed so that helped calm her down a bit. It it is sparkly, glittery or a bit over the top PB loves it. My parents found a Hello Kitty dress at Walmart that had a tulle skirt with sequin and a sequin belt. My mom then bought her silver tights to go with it. While my child loves dressing up I'm a casual girl. Give me jeans, a sweater and a pair of Dr. Martens I'm a happy camper. PB was all kinds of excited to see Mommy in a dress. Ugh! So not me. Except in summer. Then sundresses work.
Anyway back to the play. My dad decided he wanted to drop us off since I couldn't use his parking pass in the Cat lot across the street from the civic center. We arrived at the civic center and PB was in a great mood. I let her bring one of her Belle barbie dolls along without its shoes. She wanted to bring her big Belle doll. The barbie Belle sans shoes was Mommy's compromise. I am such a mean mommy. I didn't want to wind up holding the big doll or searching for tiny shoes. As we were in the line to buy PB's goodies PB says "There's she is. The OT girl". Huh? Her Occupational therapist from St. Francis was there. Ellen is just awesome. She came over to say hi. She had the cutest maternity dressy outfit on. I do not miss those days of being that pregnant. PB decided she wanted a program and a Belle tiara. The tiara is cute but cost $15. The child has at least a half dozen tiaras at home. Didn't matter she had to have the Belle tiara. She also wanted a Belle t-shirt with a glitter red rose on it. I bought it for her but won't let her have it until her birthday. Again I'm a mean mommy. She also wanted a rose purse they had as well as a fake red rose. The child has an entire drawer of purses. I finally put my foot down. I was able to get PB to her seat and settled but not before we ran into her OT from school. Little Miss Popularity. Then once we were seated she started working her magic on the people sitting around us.
I love that she is well behaved (for the most part) in shows like this. She also does a great job of applauding correctly and generally acting like a good kiddo. The show was great. The first half was very long. I actually wondered if they were going to forgo intermission. Nope. It was just a very long first act. An hour and 15 minutes to be exact. Then intermission was a half hour. At that point I was beginning to worry if PB was going to be able to hold up and behave for the entire thing. Again she made me a proud mommy and kept it together. The hard part was getting her to calm down enough to get to sleep that night. We didn't get home until 10:30pm and by the time all was said and done she was asleep by 11:30pm so I'll count it as a success.
The show itself was really good. The actors did a great job and their voices were great. The person playing Gaston for some reason did not really work as Gaston for me. He was a bit scrawny actually and the wig they used was beyond exaggerated. The costumes and sets were amazing. The "Be Our Guest" number was incredible. I was surprised how many additional songs the play had versus the movie. Peoria being Peoria of course did a standing ovation. I don't understand how a town that was discriminating enough in their performance opinions to have coined the phrase "It played in Peoria" and now gives a standing performance to every single performance. Isn't a standing ovation supposed to be reserved for an out of this world, rocked your socks off, took your breath away performance?
It was nice to be able to spend an evening out with PB and enjoy ourselves. It was wonderful to see her in a social setting and watch how she handles herself. She made me very proud mommy that night. I wonder what our next performance will be??? :)