The Beast is Back
I recently took C to see a production of Beauty and the Beast at a local community theater. Actually, a bunch of us went, all with our toddlers in tow. The show was an imitation of the Disney version, complete with singing crockery.
On the way over, of course, I’d explained to him that we use our Church Voice in the theater. This proved to be a great move on my part, because we ended up chit-chatting during much of the show. I realize this sounds rude, but we were extremely quiet. I don’t think even the people immediately near us could hear. At least none of them seemed to notice.
The show itself was the cause of the chatter. Whenever something confused the little guy, he asked me what was going on – questions like “why is she singing?” or “why is he mad?” or “is this song almost over?” I did my best to answer each one and eventually he climbed from his chair into mine so that it would easier for him to hear me answer.
Everything went great until after the show, when the actors came out to take their bows. One of the last to emerge was the actor that played The Beast, and he was wearing his Beast costume. C didn’t understand.
He grabbed my arm. “Oh no! He’s the Beast again! Daddy, he turned back into The Beast!”
“No, that’s just an actor. That’s just the actor wearing the costume.”
“The Beast is back. He’s back!”
I tried to explain that the show was, in fact, over, and that the actors had just come out to take their bows. The problem, however, was that no one had closed the curtain behind them. The actors were still in the same costumes, standing on the same stage, with the same type of music playing. And, of course, the lights were still down in the theater. Even the wolves were still dressed as wolves. It looked like the show was still going on, and they were doing another performance number.
To make things worse, I’d never explained what an “actor” was. I mean, I think he understood that the play was all pretend, but I had never spelled it out. He clearly didn’t believe me that the show was over, and he wasn’t sure what I was talking about when I was saying “actor”.
As the theater lights came on, he gave me a doubtful sort of “okay I’ll shut up about it, but I think you’re crazy” look.
Oh well. I’ll take what I can get.