Thursday, April 26, 2007

Edward Scissorhands; The Ballet

Much to the detriment of conversation, and to my mothers dismay, I was inexplicably tired at the onset of our Edward Scissorhands adventure.

I could tell that my mumblings were a disappointment to her; the whole reason I decided to come was so that she could spend time with me and talk. I was not a team player in the beginning though, restricting conversation to non personal subjects. I, to be quite frank, was in no mood to talk about my feelings to her or anyone for that matter. It's not because she is my mother, it's because I didn't want to go down that long and perilous road.

Having said that, I believe the exhaustion came from my minimal food intake that day and the long hours of continuous activity and obligations. Once I had some food, everything began a turn for the better!

After fighting our way through the throngs of vehicles recently released by their just-off-work owners, we managed to enter a parking garage merely blocks from the 5th Avenue Theatre. Here we met my uncle Russ and his girlfriend (and probably wife someday) Janie. They scooped us up from the sidewalk and we then drove to a location even closer to the theatre; the valet parking at some ritzy hotel. My door was opened for me and after all had exited, the car was led off to it's place of rest until it would be summoned upon our return.

We walked to the street corner. The bustle of activity was immense. Bennihanas was across the street from us, next to that was the 5th avenue theatre. Towers taunted us from above, people seemed to be flooding in from all cracks and crevices, and my only thought was, "I need to get down here more often."

My mother had mentioned to my Uncle and Janie that I had not eaten and was rather famished. We took the stairs down below the 5th avenue and there we found a sandwich shoppe. I quickly consumed an Italian sandwich and a cup of chili while my company bantered about friends and family. We spoke of all things in that half hour before the show: construction, my future plans, Janie's son, my sister, life, the universe, and everything betwixt.

The time was getting close, the show boasted a start at 7:30. To our dismay, it had been pushed back to 7:55! The reason for which was that Denver, the place in which the show had just come, was having a nasty spit of weather. If only Denver was a real person, I would shake my fist at him and mock him for his nasty manners.

We got inside to the lobby and there we waited until the doors were opened. The Miss that helped us find our seat actually misplaced us! So, when two rather snooty women shuffled to our row, my mother and I were a little embarrassed when they announced our mistake. We got up politely and moved, saying goodbye to Russ and Janie for the moment. The new seats we found were in fact a mistake again, but even though we realized it, no one arrived to announce our mistake, and so we sat in the center aisle.

The venue was rather magnificent. Its decor adopted what seemed to be an eastern style, the walls sprawling with dragons and ornate carvings. Lanterns along the walls cast a warm glow on the exotic designs. I sat there in wonder, admiring the theatre and pondering is history. I also took this time to watch the people. My mother joined me and commented, "There are many bald heads in front of us". To which we laughed. It was true, sparkles could be seen glimmering off many of the men. I pondered then the fate of my dear head...

My mother and I found that time to talk. We spoke of the show, it's actors, and their credentials, making judgments without any expertise. We reminisced on ballets long past, to the days when I was but a child and would run to the front so as to admire the orchestra sprawling out in their musical pit.

I might note that thought I had eaten, my exhaustion had not entirely left me, but my irritability had. I was very calm, a little warm in my seat, and seemingly sedated. To my mother I would surmise that she thought I was upset, she tends to worry about these things. Though, I was not upset, just tired and worried by all the tasks left undone.

"Only leave until tomorrow that which you are willing to die having left undone" ~ Pablo Picasso.

I use Mr. Picasso to note this: I would any day rather visit a ballet with my Mother then toil in the scribbling and scratchings of thermodynamical physics. I was not willing to put off this adventure with my Mother for another day, for if I died and left our endeavor undone, it would be something I regretted. Physics means very little to me and I don't think I would give it a second thought during my final great adventure.

I've written so much about before the show, but let me steady myself from these tangents and tell you of its wonders.

Truth be told, I was not sure if I was seeing a play, musical, or ballet. I surprised, but not disappointedly so, to find it was a ballet! There were no curtains to be drawn, only a front screen lit to show a painted mist twisting and curling from edge to edge. Projected onto the mist from far above, the shows title stood boldly, every inch of it's letters being scrutinized by an anxious crowd.

A faint note, then another, the brass began to play. The wind and strings came together and the volume climbed to it's peak. There it stayed as the lights were covered and the crowd had hushed. A single spotlight broke the darkness and landed on a haggard old lady. She walked across the stage, frail in her age, and through her motions we realize she is telling us a story long since past.

So is the beginning of the Ballet known as Edward Scissorhands.

From there on, we follow Tim Burtons classic tale. From the inception of Ed, to his admittance to the town, to his dreams and love for his hosts daughter, and finally his exile.

It must be said that the sets were phenomenal. The moon filled the backdrop, setting it's eerie glow upon the stage. The set was ever changing, from inside buildings to outside, from graveyard to suburbia, from plants to sculptures. The props that stood out the most were the plants. They were formed to look as giraffes and elephants or people! One scene, we see Ed literally cut away and shape a plant into a star.

However, no one goes to Ballets for the props, and if there are who do they are fools. Mastery of the body is why people go. To admire it's form and abilities. Classic ballets are interesting indeed, magnificent are the dancers in their abilities. But Edward Scissorhands is much more than just some fancy moves; the dancers tell their story so well through the choreography and the expressiveness of their bodies. Each dance told us how the characters were feeling, all their postures and demeanors were in place to help create their personalities; How else would you engage an audience without words? Astonishing was the ability I saw that night and when all was said and done, I was moved.

I want to visit more ballets, plays, and concerts; And so it shall, if fate should have it. A majestic night was my Edward Scissorhands adventure, one for the ages. I must thank my mother many more times I think.


P.S. Be prepared for plenty of the male posterior. It shows quite prominently in this performance!

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