Register Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
Lunafly

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm starting to see ads popping up for fall and winter performances in the area. I want to attend The Nutcracker this year with my DH and DD (5). One of the local studios that is very good/pre-pro is doing it at out local theater. It's a great, historical venue and I was excited to see it there. I was surprised, however, to see that children under 6 are not permitted.

My question is, does this seem reasonable? The Boston Ballet does not have age restrictions and will even provide booster seats. Later this summer we're going to see the Maine State Ballet perform Coppelia and they don't have age restrictions either.

It seems a little pretentious to me to have a minimum age for The Nutcracker, especially considering it's being performed by students. Has anyone else seen this before? Is it common? What are your thoughts on little ones at ballet performances, theater and the like?
1
stpierremom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,701
Reply with quote  #2 
That seems very odd to me.  Parents should be able to make the decision on whether or not their children are mature enough to sit properly through a show.

Our local theater, where many touring companies bring their shows, and where several local dance studios hold their recitals, has a policy that anyone entering the theater to see a show must have a ticket.  No lap held children get in free.  This seems to discourage people from bringing their babies and toddlers.
0
Midge

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,055
Reply with quote  #3 
It is very normal around here, unless it is a production specifically designed for children.  Not all parents have good theatre etiquette, unfortunately.  (I'm sure everyone on this board would be fine, but a few bad apples spoil it for everyone)
0
mookiel

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #4 
That is odd to me. My daughter was 3 I think when I first took her to The Nutcracker. She loved it and didn't make a peep. Would have been a shame to miss out on that experience based on a general rule. Sure there are people with bad theatre etiquette but that could apply to cell phones or talking to the person beside them etc. too. It's better to deal with the odd rude person that punish everyone.
0
2dornot2d

Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 475
Reply with quote  #5 
I recently saw Cirque du Soleil "O" in Las Vegas. They had a sign that reads "Children under 5 are not Permitted" on the floor. I have seen these restrictions but not very often… I take my kids to operas, ballets, and other age appropriate shows (they were at least kindergarten age). One Cirque du Soleil show that came to our town few years ago… I don't remember whether they had it or not… my little one was 5 at the time and still saw the show. 

Personally I wouldn't buy a $200 ticket for my toddler risking the chances that I might need to walk her out if she gets scared or cries, but  local ballet performance having that restriction is not reasonable to me. Little girls love ballet, especially the Nutcracker.
0
crafty1

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,373
Reply with quote  #6 
Your DD is 5, and it sounds like she has sat through other ballet performances. I would just buy her the ticket and not say anything. I bet that no one will question you at the door. I suspect they are trying to keep the distractions of having very young, immature children in the audience down to a minimum.

Requiring that everyone in the audience has a paid ticket will minimize the number of unruly children in the audience, but it also helps control the amount of people in the venue. Venues have a maximum occupancy allowance, so it may be a safety issue. And, lets face it - it ensures that the performing group gets paid for all audience members (not a bad thing).

Years ago, I took the kiddos to see the Wiggles. The rules were that anyone older than 2 needed a ticket at this particular historic theater. At the last minute, I needed one extra ticket for my nephew. I figured it wasn't a problem, since I knew that DD would wind up on my lap the whole time anyway so she could see, since she has always been very tiny for her age (she was about 4 at the time).  I purchased a ticket in another section of the theater so that there was a ticket for everyone in our group per the rules. When we got to the door, the usher was totally confused, and kept asking me who was going to sit in the seat that was nowhere near the rest of our seats. I had to explain at least twice that no one was going to sit in that seat because my little one was going to sit in my lap, but that she was required to have a ticket. The usher finally understood that I was just following the rules, and told me that she would have allowed us in without the ticket for DD.
0
tappinmom

Avatar / Picture

Double Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 13,360
Reply with quote  #7 
It does seem strange but I can see why they do it.  Some parents will bring their child even though they know that they won't sit quietly and will be a distraction to everyone else.  DS sat through his first almost full recital at 2 1/2 and we never had this issue but he was very clear on expectations in public places - movie theatres, restaurants, etc.  Some kids are not so well behaved.
0
tendumom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,187
Reply with quote  #8 
I have seen this sort of age restriction at various theaters in the past, including Lincoln Center in NY. Sometimes, it is written more as a recommendation "not recommended for children under age X." I actually think one of the local professional ballet companies said not recommended for children under 4 at their Nut. It was clearly ignored by most, but perhaps it makes some people think. I mean, after all, my husband bought Lion King tickets as far in advance as possible for our then 2 yr old. Yes... he really did! And it was for a night performance! LOL. And we actually took her and she sat through the entire first act, mesmerized! She started to get sleepy during the second act. We were in the front row and the performers could clearly see her (and had interacted with her). She probably would have been fine in a minute or two (wasn't crying or even making much noise) but I did not want to take the chance. I took her out immediately and watched the rest on the TV in the lobby. It would be another 10 yrs until we returned to see the second half of the Lion King!  So, yes, people sometimes do not think or do not know, like my own dh! After that, we stuck to more age appropriate events like "Sesame Street Live!" She saw her first Nut at 5 and her first NYCB performance at 6.

I am normally a rule follower, but I would not hesitate in this case. I really think it is more to prevent babies, toddlers and others from being a disruption. We went to one local Nut performance where the audience was never truly quiet because there were so many little ones.
0
ballerinamom13

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,817
Reply with quote  #9 
I don't think they will card her.  I'd take her anyway![cool]
0
Lunafly

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #10 
I agree with what many of you have said. It seems that making age recommendations and prohibiting free admission for "children in arms" is probably a more tactful way to curb crying babies and wiggly toddlers from attending shows that are more suited to an older audience. 
0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,036
Reply with quote  #11 
Personally, I think the first half of Nut is very appealing to most young children... even those under 5.  But I think the second half becomes a snooze fest for most under 5 (and even some older than 5).  No matter how much they might "love ballet".  IDK... I don't see it as unreasonable at all and think many in the audience would likely appreciate such a rule. Nothing worse than that pesky child who won't sit still/be quiet in that kind of environment.   There are generally other options if the restriction doesn't work for some.
0
Angel2228

Avatar / Picture

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 615
Reply with quote  #12 
I think they should do different ages for different times. Lets say first week only over 5, second week all ages.
Big pet peeve of mine. I hate spending money on shows and ending up sitting next to a toddler who can't control their voice level, and yelling everything they say. Maybe I am just old and less tolerant. One competition we went to if you came in after the session started you could only go straight up the stairs to the balcony, so if baby started fussing, mom went to stand in the corner not leaving the theater or she wasn't allowed back to her seat. Most frustrating week end ever. (especially when I needed to pee! lol) Maybe it's part my anxiety, I get pretty agitated when kids fuss, and lines, and crowds. But myself I would be more inclined to purchase tickets to a 5+ show. I just don't think it should be the only option.
0
tendumom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,187
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Personally, I think the first half of Nut is very appealing to most young children... even those under 5


That made me LOL a little because I immediately thought of one local Nut that is much more fun in the second act and a snooze fest in the first act. The party scene can be an interminable snooze fest if not done well. Actually, same for the entire show! Oy vey. 

This thread reminded me of my nephew at 6 when he came to see dd perform as a rat in Act 1. He got through the party scene just fine, but as the scene darkened and the music became more ominous, he got scared. Before my sister could whisper to him that dd was just about to jump on stage, someone in the audience near them reprimanded him and told him he was rude. That made him more upset and my sister took him out right away and he missed the rest of the show. She could have brought him back for act 2 (I think dd was a flower and maybe something else like marzipan), but she was concerned that the audience member who reprimanded him might cause other issues. Sister's account was the audience member was louder than my nephew, but I wasn't there and can't vouch. I don't think my nephew has even seen dd in the Nutcracker since. 

Okay.. end of my hijacking.
0
happytappyfeet

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,916
Reply with quote  #14 
I expect to see/hear little ones at Nut. Although children should be taught at a young age how to behave in a theatre, I certainly have a different tolerance in this situation, and understand that typically a younger child is going to have an attention span that may not allow them to get through the entire production. I just expect/hope the parent is on top of the situation and will take the child out as soon as it becomes apparent the child cannot sit still and/or be quiet any longer. As for other ballets, I think it's the rare child under 5 that will get much enjoyment from them, so I don't see why someone would even want to bring them.
0
Mittenmom3

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,021
Reply with quote  #15 
I've seen it at certain venues. Our ballet company doesn't restrict the age. We've seen babies on up. I will say though that when an older baby/toddler starts crying, usually when the house lights turn off and they are afraid of the dark, it can be distracting. I often think that it cant be much fun for the parents to fuss with a little, while trying to enjoy the show. Five is likely just fine to sit through the show, however.
0
tappinmom

Avatar / Picture

Double Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 13,360
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by happytappyfeet
I expect to see/hear little ones at Nut. Although children should be taught at a young age how to behave in a theatre, I certainly have a different tolerance in this situation, and understand that typically a younger child is going to have an attention span that may not allow them to get through the entire production. I just expect/hope the parent is on top of the situation and will take the child out as soon as it becomes apparent the child cannot sit still and/or be quiet any longer. As for other ballets, I think it's the rare child under 5 that will get much enjoyment from them, so I don't see why someone would even want to bring them.


This is part of the problem.  Lots of parents will just sit back and allow the child to be disruptive rather than miss something themselves.
0
ggsmith

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 564
Reply with quote  #17 
It might depend on the venue as well.  DD's ballet school will be performing with the company in a larger professional theater this year, which is exciting for the dancers.  This theater is set up so that the rows arc from one side of the theater to the other with no center aisles.  The end seats aren't at a great angle for viewing the stage.  It isn't easy getting in and out of your seat before the show or at intermission, and it would be very difficult to remove a child without disrupting the show for everyone in your row and the next couple rows behind it.  I try not to imagine an emergency requiring a quick exit when we score tickets in the center of the theater.  That said, I'm pretty sure DD was 5 the first time she saw Nutcracker, in that very theater.  We had great seats near the center of the auditorium maybe 10 rows back.  I never heard a peep out of her, and I don't think she even leaned back in the seat.  It was that exciting to her.  In OP's case, I'd just purchase a ticket and smile nicely when I handed it to the usher .  
0
Psmom

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 5,790
Reply with quote  #18 
Depends on the kid, the parent, and the venue. I took my youngest dd to see the Nutcracker 2 months before her 3rd birthday. First of all she insisted she had to wear her ballet shoes just in case they needed her to dance. More significantly, she was obsessed with ballet. She sat on the edge of her seat for the entire show. I wasn't even sure she was breathing. The elderly ladies who sat next to us wanted to keep her for life. Had she not been ready to sit still and be quiet we would have left the theater. I chose an aisle seat just in case that happened. We chose that venue and that ballet because they didn't have an age restriction. I wouldn't have taken her to one with an older age restriction unless she was reasonably close to the required age. The parent is really the key to this issue. If your the kind of parent who will leave at the very first sign of restlessness and not hope it gets better then it'll be fine. I've been to a few shows that were ruined by a parent who wouldn't take their disruptive child out of the theater
0
Suzit42

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,601
Reply with quote  #19 
Oh for the sake! It's The Nutcracker. The audience is supposed to be chock full of little girls in pretty holiday dresses. Most of them are mesmerized, a few are wiggly and the ones who are too noisy need to go to the lobby. It's just common sense. My mom and I took my DD16 for the first time when she was three and a half. She was definitely mesmerized. It was her first experience at a "grown up" theater. I say take her anyway.
0
SLPmama

High Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #20 
The smaller ballet in our area shows matinees with canned music and cheaper seats. These shows are considered the family friendly productions. Shows in the evening with orchestra are reserved for ore mature patrons. I'm not sure if there's a restriction for evening shows?
0
Dancinandlovinit

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 732
Reply with quote  #21 
I bought a ticket for my 2 year old nephew to my dd's recital.  Do I think he can sit through the show?  Not a chance.  But, my in-laws won't get a sitter for him, so it's the only way they will come see my dd dance.  I did buy seats on the aisle so they can make a quick exit if needed, and I hope they have the common sense to do just that when he gets antsy.  

I agree that it should be up to the parents.  Because at 2, my dd would have totally sat through the Nutcracker without an issue, and at 3, she did.  All kids are different. 
0
Jacaranda

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,131
Reply with quote  #22 
It could be a rule for the comfort of other patrons. Perhaps they have had issues in the past with young children being noisy and having difficulty sitting still and people have complained.

0
Ellie'sMom

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #23 
I'd bring her. They're not going to ask her age, are they?


I have mixed feelings on this issue. So many factors play into it. The size of the theater is a big consideration. My dd does a lot of community theatre; one place had about a 50 seat capacity. The owner/director says no kids under 6, regardless of the show (and practically all shows were kid oriented). It is too small of a theatre and anything anyone does in the audience is visible by the actors (who are all kids). Another group she performs with has a much bigger theater (close to 700 seats), and at the beginning of each show, the director makes a speech about "creating your own intermission for your little ones", and people actually do it.

Then there is Broadway- I distinctly recall the crying toddler during act 2 of Matilda (which is supposed to be "family friendly". It irked me, big time.

Then There was the Idina Menzel concert this weekend. Also known as Elsa-palooza!! Not sure how patient all the little ones were, waiting for the one song she sang from Frozen (which was the last song she sang). None of them were near us, they all had floor/VIP seats (go figure) so they didn't bother me. But they had to have been bored out of their minds for the 90 minutes prior to.

I know this post was about the taking a child (who likes ballet) to see a family friendly version of the nutcracker (performed by children), so it doesn't really apply here, but he bigger issue in our society is that a lot of people hint their kids belong everywhere- fancy restaurants at 10pm, operas, Shakespeare, R rated movies, etc. Recommendations are just that- recommendations. And no one likes to be told how to live their lives or raise their children. But sadly, common sense (looking into a shows content beforehand) is not that common.

0
heidi459

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 6,036
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacaranda
It could be a rule for the comfort of other patrons. Perhaps they have had issues in the past with young children being noisy and having difficulty sitting still and people have complained.


If I was a betting woman I'd bet this is exactly it.  And it makes perfect sense.  I'm actually a little concerned that anyone would question the purpose.

That said, beyond the infant/toddler set I also bet it's meant simply to make people think twice since children don't carry picture ids & there's no way to prove their age.  If a child is not typically well behaved &/or there is some question as to whether or not they will be able to sit that long, a policy like that will hopefully make a parent decide to choose a different production.  Otoh, if you've got a perfectly well behaved 4/5 yo, no one is going to throw you out because they "think" your child "might be" too young.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be sure all parents would leave the theater if their young child became loud/fidgety/distracting to those around them?  But that's not the world we live in today.
0
My2DanceLoves

Avatar / Picture

Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 5,409
Reply with quote  #25 
I think it's a reasonable policy.  More often than I like, I have experienced talking, crying , whining , running and otherwise distracting little ones while in an audience.   The majority of the time, IF the parent decides to do the courteous thing and remove the child from the audience , it's usually after we've suffered through the distraction for a while first.    I think a parent of a small child who would be attentive , engaged or even just well mannered and quiet , would know they could safely bring their child to a ballet.   In fairness it's been a while since I was the parent of a little one.  But when my kids were small , I opted for the Disney on Ice kind of thing.  If I wanted to go to attend something like a ballet , I would have gotten a babysitter. 
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.