The Big Snooze
It’s Sunday, October 26 (Halloween weekend) and I’m sitting in Box H at the Marcus Center, waiting for the curtain to open and reveal the Milwaukee Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty. My watch says 1:30 pm, which means I’ll be missing my afternoon nap. My seat is so comfy that I could sneak in a few ZZZZs, but then I’d miss out on all the fairies (good & bad), and the likes of the 16-year-old who pricked her finger on a rose and fell into slumber in the days before sleeping pills.
It’s likely that most in the audience remember Sleeping Beauty as the honey-haired beauty who slept in the 1959 Disney film, but the tale was writ long before that, in 1697. Tom Strini, Dance Critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, deemed the October 23 performance tepid, particularly the segments prior to intermission. He was right. If it hadn’t been for the wicked Carabosse and her wicked sidekicks, I would have been out like a light.
Seeking refuge, I took my notepad and drink and perched on the ledge of a splashing fountain to listen to a player-less piano churning out “As Time Goes By” near a big bronze sculpture, “Leap of Faith,” cast in 2006, number 44 of 50. That was a mistake because the woman next to me, apparently noted my notes. “Oh, I’m a writer. I write job resumes,” she said, adding that business is good these days. Another woman recognized my Iowa drawl and identified herself as a fellow Iowan (but not a writer!), and I’m thinking as I write this that perhaps my conversation with her was the high point of my October 26 ballet foray.
Onward and onward, into the churning crowd of kids, my next stop was an area where the ballet was hawking various items, including pen and ink drawings by east-sider, Jason Fricke. 50% off the sign said. If you appreciate delicate line drawings of dancers, Jason’s your guy.
Just so you know: don’t expect the ticket takers to rip your ticket in half anymore. The newest ploy is to scan your ticket, so you’re not left holding the raggedy remains. Remember that when you sign on for Artistic Director Michael Pink’s “The Nutcracker” (December 12-28).