Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Cultural Experience

First of all I want to apologize for not posting earlier. Quite honestly I just haven't had the energy. Eventually (hopefully within the next few days) I will post pictures from our New Years trip to Prague, and tell you all how that went (great city, not too much sleep...), but at the moment I have a more pressing issue to tell you about. Before I start I hope this doesn't come off as me ranting (b/s I'm so glad Paul and I could have gone out on a date), actually if it does-so be it-(I feel somewhat entitled-I never rant on the blog).

OK, I'll get to the point-This evening Paul and I went to the local theatre to see the Nutcracker. Yes, the holiday season is over, but here in Germany it's common for the Nutcracker to be performed from January thru March. This is one of my favorite things (growing up I had seen it a few times and it really made the season), and so it was without saying that I was really looking forward to the production. The evening started out great as we had our next door neighbor babysit, and we were able to park at our local church parking lot and walk a mere 5 minutes to the theatre. The theatre is new and contemporary and upon arrival there was someone to take your coat, as well as numerous people ready to serve you cocktails and hors d'oeuvres if you so wanted. Unfortunately, the great theatre couldn't save their awful (in my opinion) rendition of the Nutcracker. I'm not one to shy away from change, but this is one instance where I feel the saying applies-"if it's not broke, don't fix it". Who ever the creative director was, he took so many liberties that I could barely recognize the ballet. The music was the one part of the production that was true to Tchaikovsky's original work, but even towards the end they started to tweak where they shouldn't have. I felt as if we were watching a modern ballet (imagine German punk rockers in the opening scene) directed by Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas). Except for the phenomenal orchestra the production really was terrible (there was a time machine, a giant slide, and even a homosexual Egyptian scene). After all was said and done, Paul and I were absolutely shocked and the crowds reaction (they went wild-the Germans absolutely loved it). We couldn't believe it as this awful version of the Nutcracker got an almost 10 minute curtain call. Paul was worried they'd get a standing ovation (and we'd be the only ones not standing). After that, I told Paul I needed something to redeem the evening (it doesn't take much, usually a simple dessert will do the trick). Good thing a local American style diner was still open (we had been consumed with curiosity by this large 50's style diner-and couldn't wait to try it out). Going there was very interesting (half of their dessert menu was Ben and Jerry's ice cream), but definitely worth the trip.
At the end of the night, I have to laugh when thinking about the ballet and offer one piece of advice-if your planning on going to the theatre over here-keep an open mind!


Julie said...

I can't wait to hear about Prague. You have to call me sometime soon. Jeff and I are narrowing our choices down for our trip in the summer. Prague, Bern, Vienna and Cortina, Italy are all on our shortlist. What do you know about them. Have you been to any of those? What is your favorite. And Can you meet us?????

Anna said...

I've never had the desire to attend a ballet...and now I really don't. : ) Thank goodness for Ben and Jerry's.