Zara and I had a great time on Sunday. I had owed her a theatre outing to the play of her choice from her birthday last year and she had decided some time ago on Spring Awakening. I'd bought tickets for the first matinee on a holiday weekend, and that was Sunday.
We went out to lunch first at Ruby Foo's. It's this very touristy upscale pan-Asian restaurant with fancy decor and fancy versions of standard Chinese and Japanese food (e.g. the Beef Chow Fun is Filet Mignon Chow Fun). I'd never been but I thought for just two of us it wouldn't be too expensive, and I thought Zara would love it. She adored it! The food was really good and she loved the decor. She went to the bathroom three times because it was so beautiful and she could try the different lotions :-). There's an origami station near the front where the kids can learn to make a variety of things and she learned a cool kind of box I didn't know how to do. She had a "bento box" dessert - it was a sampler of a bunch of dessert things all made to look like different pieces of sushi or dumplings and served in a bento box. Very fun.
The play itself was just wonderful! It's a musical adaptation of a 19th Century German play about adolescent angst, sexual awakening, and growing up. It's tragic in parts and comic in others. Almost all the actors are kids (in the 17-21 range). There are two adult actors - one man and one woman - and they play all the adult roles between them, leaving the focus very much on the adolescents. The music is just beautiful, the choreography amazing. We had third row seats and could see all the facial expressions really well and also see how the kids' careful coifs got stray hairs by the end.
A lot of the humor in the humorous parts comes from the contrast between the 19th Century German village setting and the kids, who seem most of the time so completely 21st Century North American, as do the music and the dancing. My favorite song-and-dance number was "Totally Fucked." Unlikely to make the leap to AM radio any time soon because of its title and lyrics, it's a totally charming number. It completely captures that universal adolescent experience of being caught at something you know you shouldn't be doing and called upon to explain yourself. And the dance and the music and the words somehow evoke adolescent exuberance and the sense that no one can keep you down along with the horrific realization that no matter what you say, you're totally fucked.
There was not one wrong note, one flat moment, one less than delightful or moving or touching song. The young cast was polished and talented and at the same time fresh. I'm so glad she chose such a wonderful play!