I used to take myself to see this regularly, even through university.
I remember one year I could not find anyone to go with me, so I went alone.
As a special treat for going alone, I bought a very special very front row, absolute center seat ticket.
Never buy this seat for the Nutcracker!! Ever.
I never thought about this, but front row center puts you acoustically front and center in terms of the thump thump thump of all the ballet slippers hitting the stage.
The music doesn’t cover the thumping noise of the ballet slippers hitting the stage right in front of your face.
In fact, nothing covers the thumping noise of the ballet slippers hitting the stage right in front of your face.
Thump thumpity thumpity thump thump clump.
Logically, I knew these women weighed less than a feather. Collectively, the entire company probably weighed as much as the handbag I was carrying that evening.
But listening to them land on the stage, all I could hear was the thump thump thump of the dancing hippos in Disney’s Fantasia movie.
By the end of first act, I actually thought I was going hurt myself trying to stifle my giggles.
By the end of the entire performance, I was sure I had cracked a rib or two holding in my laughter.
I was truly amazed that the music did not cover up the sound of the ballerinas’ feet hitting the stage. It was (obviously) worse during collective dances.
This was also a professional performance – it was the Pacific Northwest Ballet! It’s not like I was watching some high school dance team interpretation of the Nutcracker. These were professionals!
I’m telling you – every single other year I went – the show was phenomenal.
But the year I sat front row, center seat – all I could hear was the tromp tromp tromp of the ballerinas’ feet.
It. was. horrible.
But even still, I would do it all again.
Just not in that particular seat.