On Broadway: Watching Her Watching At Mary Poppins

Lula, entranced, and Grandma sneaking a peek.

Today we—Mamo, Grandma, Grandpa and me—took Lula to her first Broadway show. Yes, “3 and a quarter” is early (I think I was about 9 or 10 for my first Broadway show, which I believe was either My One and Only or On Your Toes), but she’s been able to sit through 1- and 2-hour concerts and plays since she’s 2, and she is obsessed with Mary Poppins. (To wit: Her memorization of the lyrics has progressed to the point where, last night at dinner, she sang to me, with an English accent, this line from “Jolly Holiday”: “Your sweet gentility is crystal clear.” Huh?)

So the show was over-the-top thrilling. But I just wanted to note that, despite its complete awesomeness, what all four of us loved best, hands down, was watching Lula watch and love it so much. She sat transfixed for the entire 2 hours and 45 minutes, exploding into wild clapping and grinning (and occasional shrieking) after each big number, and just once breaking the no-talking-in-the-theater rule to announce, “Winifred changed her outfit!” The awe and wonder that spread across her face for the grand finale looked, as Mamo said, like something Disney pays child actors to do. But it was so real! It was hilarious how every time I sneaked a peek at Lula, I would find Grandma, Grandpa and Mamo already watching her intently, tears in their eyes.

Anyway, no big story here; just marveling at how the joy of a nascent theater lover easily steals the show—no matter who tap dances on the ceiling or flies, with the aid of her umbrella, up to the balcony.

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