I am a big fan of performances. I particularly love musicals. For many years I had a subscription to Pittsburgh Musical Theater (nee Gargaro), but then my husband opened a restaurant, I had to take a 25 percent pay cut, and I had a baby, all within a six-month period, so that ended that.
About five years ago, we discovered Gemini Theater, a wonderful production company that puts on reasonably priced interactive performances geared towards children. We attend a few show every year, but J is kind of old for them.
Earlier this year, PMT put on Le Miz. I had never seen it but knew a little about it. Some of it was adult-related, but the musical director (my former choir director) assured me those things would go over J's head, so I took her. He was right; the brothel scene was just a dance hall for all she knew. J enjoyed the performance, as did I, though she admitted parts were confusing.
This summer, PMT had a preview performance for their upcoming season, which included A Chorus Line. I saw that (via the movie) over 20 years ago, and really liked it, but was recalling some of it was not suitable for kids.
Fast-forward two months, I bought two tickets for me and J, completely forgetting that several parts were not kid-friendly. Sunday afternoon, about 10 minutes into the performance, I finally remembered! Oops!
The cursing made me cringe a little, but I could live with that. The dialogue about wet dreams, erections, and sex, on the other hand, made me wish the show would hurry up and end, which was a shame, because it was so good.
Then one of the characters started talking about her tits, using that very word. I am pretty sure I stopped breathing at that point, because I remembered one of the songs I had completely forgotten about: "Dance: Ten; Looks: Three" which is also known as "Tits and A$$." Looking at the program, I was guessing I had a few minutes before that came on, so I considered just leaving. I don't normally care what others think, but I was convinced at that point that the people on either side of me thought I was an awful parent, and that bothered me as much as J's hearing the sex, boob, and F words.
I apologized to J for the inappropriateness of the musical, and then I asked if she wanted to go, reminding her we did not eat lunch. She said she wanted to stay. So we did.
We got through that, though not without my wishing the floor would swallow us both up. When a character started taking about being a drag queen, it was a welcome relief. Before I knew it, the excellent performance ended, and as we left, I did discover J was not the only kid under 13 there (a number of performers and musicians were in high school).
In the end, I am not sorry I took my kid. The theater is important to me, as is supporting local arts. And I have certainly sheltered J more than most parents would.
As long as she does not start belting out "Dance: Ten; Looks: Three" when she sings in the shower, I think we will be okay. :-)