In the Spirit

I do this thing where I’m sure I’m not doing enough for the kids and so rope The Rock into nefarious schemes to make me feel more parenty.


This past weekend, I thought we should be doing more holiday things, so I scanned the Internet and found a community theater production in a quasi-questionable part of town that sounded perfect. Basically, the event write-up said, “…includes 29 yuletide songs, an Elvis impersonator, and a sketch about Leave It to Beaver…”


I loved it. The whole thing was well-meaning, but a bit off, just like me. It’d do nicely.


Strangely, but lovably, The Rock agreed, and soon we were off. A half hour later, as we pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall theater, I noted a crazy-seeming young man listening to the Chargers game outside his truck. At one point, he jumped up and down, screaming, and I grew concerned that this whole community theater thing were a front for a serial killer operation, but as I’m not one to understand getting excited about sports, I let it pass.


For some reason, I’d dressed the girls up and kinda frocked myself out as well. I don’t know why. It was 2PM on a Sunday, but I thought the occasion should be festive to fit the parenty picture in my head of be-ribboned kids giggling with delight over 29 yuletide songs, so I went with it.


Seconds later, we walked into the “foyer,” acutely aware that we were the only people there, and
I began to question my well-meaning offness. Either way, we were in for a pound, so inside we went.


Turns out there were nine audience members total (one for each cast member!) and I forced myself to smile and sing along to all 29 yuletide songs so the actors wouldn’t feel bad.


Anyway, to sum up, I don’t know if you’ve seen Waiting for Guffman, but you should.


p.s. The crazy-seeming man jumping outside his truck was Beaver.


p.p.s. My festooned children actually DID giggle with delight over the 29 yuletide songs (except for Booger, who suffered a nervous breakdown after song #23), so I mostly succeeded in feeling parenty.


20 Responses to “In the Spirit”

  1. I have seen Waiting for Guffman and I can just picture your outing. You get big points for trying. There’s a reason the really good shows are $60 bucks a seat!

  2. Barrie Summy says:

    Good for you, getting your parently fix out of the way!

  3. Jennifer says:

    An afternoon spent out of the house is always a good thing. Giggles are also a sign of success, so give yourself a pat on the back.

    Merry Christmas

  4. Jennifer says:

    An afternoon spent out of the house is always a good thing. Giggles are also a sign of success, so give yourself a pat on the back.

    Merry Christmas

  5. Blognut says:

    Oh the parenty lengths we’ll go to in order to try and keep out kids out therapy.

  6. Kizz says:

    As an actor who has done a few shows with as many or fewer audience members as cast I love you EVEN MORE THAN BEFORE for staying and for participating with fervor. That was a Yuletide miracle for those actors, I assure you.

  7. The actors were probably thrilled you didn’t try to duck out, pretending you’d entered the wrong address! The thought of this, and reading this, made me smile, so kudos for spreading that holiday cheer!

  8. g says:

    How nice that you stayed the whole time. Nothing’s worse than looking out in the audience after intermission and seeing an empty row where previously there were people!

    And it sounds like fun, too

  9. Please tell me you secretly video-taped that. Please. That would be awesome.

  10. Danielle says:

    Sounds like that might be something the kids will remember for years! That is awesome you guys went and enjoyed it!

  11. Green Girl says:

    Oh man, that sounds nightmarish. At least the kids had fun.

  12. stoneskin says:

    I could not cope with 29 songs. 3 would be my max.

  13. Ferd says:

    That sounds like it was fun! I love impromptu, sorta strange stuff like that. Sometimes you find a gem, and sometimes, uh, not! But you’ll never know unless you try. You’re a fun mom!

    Does Booger have a little anxiety, or was it just too long for her?

  14. 9 audience members! Oh gosh. I would cry. You were a very good sport.

  15. Elisabeth says:

    I am so jealous. Sounds just like my cup of tea.

    Waiting for Guffman is one of my favorite movies.

  16. Da Goddess says:

    Kudos to you for finding something festive and actually attending! And, for future reference, don’t forget: there’s always The Grinch down at the Old Globe, holiday lights along the Prado (at least, I think they’re still doing that), and the big fancy tree down at the Hotel Del. And there are always neighborhoods that have awesome light displays to behold.

  17. Bless you for trying something different and then going through with it even after … strangeness (I do, however, understand the yelling & jumping parts of sports love…).

    You’ve definitely created a memorable holiday outing, better than another go at The Nut*effing*cracker. :D

  18. myra says:

    That’s what I call the Christmas spirit. The picture you’ve painted makes me smile. Far more memorable than the perfect production.

  19. ilinap says:

    29 songs seems a bit excessive to endure. I don’t even think I could name 29 yuletide hits without resorting to I want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.

  20. Definitely kudos for staying and enjoying yourselves. I agree with the statements here that it was probably greatly appreciated by the actors. May I make another theatre outing suggestion, though? “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Cygnet. I love this production, done in the style of a radio play circa 1942. Also in a strip-mall theatre, but totally satisfying experience. I may try to see it again before it closes on the 28th. This time I’ll bring Kleenex, though.

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